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Couscous Review

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Slimane’s (Habib Boufares) ambition to open a floating restaurant brings out the worst in everyone.

★★★★

The slow pacing is as key as the structure of this cautionary tale, in which sixtysomething Slimane’s (Habib Boufares) ambition to open a floating restaurant brings out the worst in everyone. But there’s more to Abdel Kechiche’s Maghrebi melodrama than interminable scenes. The bitter dialogues are allowed to fester because Slimane’s family is unable to let anything lie. The only exception is Hafsia Herzi’s devoted daughter Rym, who even abases herself to salvage an opening night on the verge of disaster. Making good use of its quayside locations and a fine cast, this is both fascinating domestic melodrama and damning indictment of the intolerance that can exist across all sections of society.

This is both fascinating domestic melodrama and damning indictment of the intolerance that can exist across all sections of society.

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