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Sunday, October 1, 2017

La Fille Inconnue (aka The Unknown Girl) (2016)

A young doctor (Adele Haenel) is working overtime with an intern (Olivier Bonnaud) in her office late at night. When a young girl (Ange Deborah Goulehi) rings the bell to be let in, she doesn't open the door. The next day, she discovers the girl has been found dead without any identification as to her identity, possibly a murder victim. Stricken with guilt, the doctor becomes obsessed with finding out who the girl was and why she was killed. Released in Europe last year, the latest film from Luc and Jean Pierre Dardenne is only now getting a low key U.S. release. It's a let down following their TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT from 2014. Although Adele Hanenel is getting positive reviews for her performance, I thought the acting in the film was weak in general. TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT was anchored by a spectacular performance by Marion Cotillard and this film could have used a strong performance as Haenel is in just about every scene in the movie. Characters behave illogically and seem contrived by the Dardennes to behave the way they do so the film makers can have their point made. Those expecting a whodunit type of mystery will be disappointed. The film is about guilt. Not only the guilt of the doctor but the guilt of the person responsible for the girl's death and the guilt of a society that looks the other way and says, "That has nothing to do with me". I appreciate the message and it's a good one. I wish the execution weren't so awkward.  

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