Review: Hideaway DVD

STUDIO: Strand Releasing | DIRECTOR: François Ozon | CAST: Isabelle Carré, Louis-Ronan Choisy, Pierre Louis-Calixte, Melvil Poupaud
RELEASE DATE: 2/8/11 | PRICE: DVD $27.99
BONUSES: Louis-Ronan Choisy music video, theatrical trailer
SPECS: NR | 88 min. | Foreign language drama | widescreen | stereo | French with English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall:

Le Refuge movie scene

Louis-Ronan Choisy has a special feeling for Isabelle Carré in Francois Ozon's Hideaway.

Since Hideaway director François Ozon’s big art house hits of the early 2000s (Swimming Pool, Under the Sand), the filmmaker has been content to make some character studies that are both deeply touching and very small in scope. The films in question (2×5, Time to Leave) haven’t done very well at the box office in America, but they are quiet gems that will surely pick up cult followings on DVD.

One of these movies, 2009’s Hideaway (Le Refuge), is a somber mood piece about a recovering heroin addict (Isabelle Carré, A French Gigolo) who is befriended during her pregnancy by her late partner’s gay brother (Louis-Ronan Choisy).

The abbreviated plot synopsis may make the film sound overly tragic, but Ozon and his two stars do a wonderful job of transforming the characters into three-dimensional beings. Ozon in fact crafted the film around Carré, who was pregnant while the film was shot (thus the preponderance of real pregnant-belly sequences in the film). For his part, singer Choisy shows promise here in his acting debut.

After the initial scenes, the film settles down to essentially being a three-character piece, with the third character being a handyman (Pierre Louis-Calixte) that Choisy’s character hooks up with while staying with Carré. Ozon’s prowess as a filmmaker is most in evidence when we are left alone with the two leads, who convey a lot of emotion in the film’s quietest, most serene moments.

The DVD’s special features are limited.

 

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About Ed

Ed Grant has written about film for a wide range of periodicals, books and websites. He edited the reference book The Motion Picture Guide Annual and, since 1993, has produced and hosted the weekly cable program Media Funhouse, which Time magazine called “the most eclectic and useful movie show on TV.”