Irish Film Institute -LE REFUGE



88 minutes| France| 2009| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema

Whether it’s crossover fare like Swimming Pool or more intimate art-house material such as 5 x 2, the prolific François Ozon combines restless human curiosity with an aversion to playing safe. This latest venture is a case in point, since few filmmakers would confront the audience with a heroine who seems, initially at least, so unsympathetic, if not irresponsible. Mousse (Isabelle Carre) is unaware she’s pregnant when shooting up heroin with her boyfriend, but when he takes a fatal overdose she ignores all advice and keeps the baby, repairing to a seaside hideaway where she’s soon joined by his dishy gay brother Paul (Louis-Ronan Choisy). In the sunny days which follow, an unlikely attachment forms as both parties learn valuable lessons in love, commitment and belonging, and the film’s considerable emotional impact snaps into place. The fact that Ms Carre is very much pregnant for real brings an extra element of conviction to this tough yet rewarding story. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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