Strayed (3/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

Odile (Emmanuelle Beart) is an unhappy young mother of two children, 13 year-old Phillipe (Grťgoire Leprince-Ringuet), and his eight-year-old sister, Cathy (Clťmence Meyer). While fleeing the Nazi invasion of Paris in 1940, German fighters strafe their procession and they are stranded in the countryside. A strange drifter, 17-year-old Yvan (Gaspard Ulliel) helps them and they follow him.

What follows is a slow, boring tale that seems to have little premise and no point. I was mightily disappointed. Unless you like watching grass grow, I canít imagine anyone being entertained by this. Odile is unhappy and lifeless, except for one lovemaking scene with Yvan that seems to come out of nowhere.

This does present a picture of the despair faced by ordinary people in the face of Nazi aggression in World War II. Poor Odile and her children are left with just the clothes on their backs. The German fighters strafe and bomb defenseless civilians. No wonder Odile is so unhappy. Iím sorry they couldnít have come up with a story that was at least mildly interesting. But this is just Odile and her family and Yvan surviving for a few days, and thatís it.

Oh, thereís a mystery about Yvan as he canít read and heís odd and we don't know who he is or what he's about. But itís not enough to carry the movie, and it doesnít.

Donít waste your time. You wonít regret not seeing this. In French with subtitles.

June 5, 2004

The End