Ultranova Review

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A 'grey-suit' salesman leads a dull life, but is awakened by a chance encounter with a working class girl.


Belgian Bouli Lanners’ background as a landscape artist is readily apparent in this bittersweet treatise on the inevitable unpredictability of modern life, which presents a homely though hopeless view of the rundown industrial town of Liège. Everywhere looks as flat and uninspired as starter home salesman Vincent Lecuyer’s daily grind. But a chance meeting with warehouse worker Hélène De Reymaeker sparks a relationship that seems to offer an escape from the crushing mediocrity bearing down on their workmates and friends.

Although an aura of deadpan drollery pervades action full of capricious happenstance, there’s a deep sense here of people wanting to connect with each other — but they’ve forgotten how.

Full of quiet comedy and lingering melancholy, this is an amiable example of the kind of episodic deadpan denunciation of modern life that North European film-makers do so well.