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(aka 'The Refuge" or "Hideaway')

 

Directed by François Ozon
France 2009

 

Mousse and Louis are young, beautiful, rich and in love. But drugs have invaded their lives. One day they overdose, and Louis dies. Mousse survives, but soon learns she s pregnant. Feeling lost, she runs away to a house far from Paris. Several months later, Louis brother joins her in her refuge. From acclaimed French director François Ozon (Time to Leave, Swimming Pool).

***

The 42-year-old Parisian’s latest returns him to safer and more familiar territory. Like ‘Under the Sand’, ‘5x2’ and ‘Time to Leave’ before it, ‘Le Refuge’ is an intimate contemporary drama that plays out on bourgeois, metropolitan terrain and concerns itself with examining one or two people and their relationship to love or death. It’s blessed with a mesmerising performance from Isabelle Carré who was six or seven months pregnant for most of the shoot and appears in nearly every scene. It’s short and even slight, more of an observational short story of a film than a rich novel, but it’s entrancing and moving nonetheless.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 16th, 2009 - Toronto Film Festival

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution Artificial Eye Film Company - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:24:15 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English (non-removable)
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Making of... (10:07)
• Cut Scenes (8:57)
• Actors in Conversation (2:18)
• Photo Gallery (3:00)
• Music video (2:23)

• Trailer (1:38)

DVD Release Date: November 8th, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 11

 

Comments:

I love most of Ozon's, sometimes idiosyncratic, cinema and I think this is one of his better efforts in the past few years. Le Refuge ends up being a simple story, very deliberately paced and with the lead, Ms. Carré, obviously very pregnant - it gave valuable credence to her character. It's such a personal story it is hard not to think of Rohmer - and there is some definite homage (see the extras). 

Artificial Eye out of the UK appear to have done another competent job with the transfer - a dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive rendering with the only black-mark being non-removable large-ish subtitles for the feature (they are optional for the supplements though). The camera follows Isabelle Carré everywhere and she is radiant - more so than simply her representation as Mother Earth. Detail is strong in the many close-ups and noise is minimal. I know their is a French Blu-ray available HERE but I'm unsure as to the availability of English subtitles. I suspect this represents the best it can look on this SD medium.

Audio gives two French flavors - 2.0 channel stereo and a 5.1 surround option. There isn't a heck of a lot of difference with the mainly dialogue-driven film that also contains some prosaic pauses. It is clear and consistent and the aforementioned subtitles are more than visible on the region free PAL encoded DVD. Louis-Ronan Choisy does some original music supporting the film.

Supplements contain about 25-minutes in total with a Making of... ad-hoc piece with behind the scenes footage, 9-minutes of 'cut scenes' (deleted), a brief screen test entitled 'Actors in Conversation'. a photo gallery, music video and trailer. I think a commentary may have been unwarranted here as it might have tampered with the delicate balance of the film's emotional response. I was happy just to leave my viewing 'un-discussed'.

While this is quite a beautiful film, I don't think I'd place it above the director's Under the Sand - but I still had a rewarding viewing experience. This is art-house and not compatible with those tastes anticipating more, in this case, than a simple, contemplative love story. It's about pain and moving onto new areas of your life with Carré the lynchpin performance

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Artificial Eye Film Company - Region 0 - PAL



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