09 Nov 2012
09 Apr 2013
- User rating
- Critic rating
- Currently 4/5 Stars.
81% of raters want to see this movie
Yorgos Lanthimos's eagerly awaited follow-up to the Oscar nominated Dogtooth is another weird and wonderful exploration of human psychology. A nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast and her coach have formed a service for hire. They stand in for dead people by appointment, hired by the relatives, friends or colleagues of the deceased. The company is called Alps, lead by the demanding disciplinarian Mount Blanc. However Mount Rose, the nurse, fails to live up to his exacting standards and her behaviour with clients becomes increasingly erratic. Serving up another cocktail of black humour, unsettling drama and delicious ambiguity, Lanthimos confirms himself as one of the most exciting emerging directors in world cinema.
- Critic rating
Movies.ie Critic Review
MOVIES.IE’S ONE TO WATCH!
Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos. Starring Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia, Stavros Psyllakis, Aris Servetalis, Johnny Verkis, Erifili Stefanidou.
THE PLOT: Realising that the ties that bind can also trap, four individuals – a gymnast (Lebad), her strict coach (Vekris), a paramedic (Servetalis) and a nurse (Papoulia) – offer a unique service to the recently bereaved; they will pretend to be their dearly departed, wearing their clothes, speaking their words and generally living their lives for a few hours a week.
Such substitution comes at a price though, and not just for the clients, as the four struggle to affirm their own identities, not only within the harsh group – dubbed the Alps by the paramedic, seemingly their leader, because the name “in no way reveals what it is we do” – but also out in the big bad world…
THE VERDICT: As with Lanthimos’ previous offering, 2009’s Dogtooth (which centred around three teenage kids being completely cocooned from the outside world by their parents), Alps is an intoxicating mix of Loach and Lynch. The mundane rubs up against the melancholic madness, and you’re never quite sure where the truth lies. Everyone here, after all, is living a lie, including the clients.
Lanthimos is ultimately letting us know that, as Sight & Sound put it, something is rotten in the state of Greece. Just what it is – and what it means – well, you’re going to have to work that out for yourself. RATING: 4/5
Review by Paul Bynre