The Adopted Review

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The arrival of handsome Lyon restaurant critic Alex (Menochet) into the lives of adopted sisters Lisa (Laurent) and Marine (Denarnaud) threatens their relationship.


Coming on more like a US indie than a Gallic navel-gazer, Mélanie Laurent’s directorial debut is quirky, borderline schmaltzy, entertaining stuff. Two sisters — musician single mother Lisa (Laurent) and cultured, Cary Grant-loving Marine (Marie Denarnaud) — are tin-drum tight until the latter falls for shambolic, affable Alex (Denis Menochet), driving a wedge between the siblings. For 30 minutes it is idiosyncratic if familiar stuff, sharing DNA with Miranda July and Mike Mills. Yet the new status quo is disrupted by an artfully handled cataclysmic event that redefines the relationships. It may be too saccharine for some, but Laurent elicits strong performances from her cast (Menochet is particularly winning) and, be it in a telling use of delicate lighting, shallow focus or engaging pop, proves she has directorial chops too.

Mélanie Laurent's sweet but schmaltzy debut establishes her credentials as a capable director, and she does good work with old Inglourious Basterd Menochet, too. A word of warning: those with an aversion to the quirk of US indie filmmaking will feel its i