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Bastards

(Les salauds)
France/Germany 2013. Dir: Claire Denis. 100 min. DCP

Claire Denis plumbs new depths of darkness in this polarizing 2013 neo-noir thriller, one of the French auteur’s most penetrating and, frankly, misanthropic movies. Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s own noir transplant The Bad Sleep Well, Denis’s feel-bad film stars Vincent Lindon as Marco, a stoic sea-captain who returns to Paris upon news of his brother-in-law’s suicide. Marco’s sister suspects that her husband was driven to death by an unpaid creditor, who may also be responsible for a savage sexual assault on Marco’s teenage niece (Lola Créton, Goodbye First Love). Marco vows revenge, and uncovers a devastating web of deceit and depravity. Rife with Denis’s customary visual coups and oblique plot points, Bastards, not unlike Lynne Ramsay’s recent You Were Never Really Here, is a dreamy and disorderly whodunit that confronts the vilest corners of human behaviour. “Grimly beautiful ... Terrifying, pitiless, inevitable” (Manohla Dargis, New York Times).


VIOLENCE; NUDITY; SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE SCENES; COARSE LANGUAGE
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REVIEWS

"Menacing and atmospheric ... It isn't there to be watched and understood in the conventional sense, but experienced or inhaled."

The Guardian | full review

"The point is to get hopelessly lost in the film's eerie, unsettling flow ... Masterfully woozy."

Time Out | full review