Staying Vertical

(Rester vertical)
France 2016. Dir: Alain Guiraudie. 100 min. DCP

“A holy-shit movie ... The most shocking movie at Cannes last year.”

Top Ten Films of 2016

The startlingly unconventional Staying Vertical, French auteur Alain Guiraudie’s follow-up to 2013’s Stranger by the Lake, his international breakthrough, finds beauty, wonder, and mystery everywhere it looks — at rolling landscapes and wild wolves; at birth, death, and sex; at the messy, marvellous spectrum of carnal desire. A fairy-tale-like meditation on what it means to be a vertical animal, it follows sexually-fluid screenwriter Léo (Damien Bonnard), who, while wandering the countryside in search of inspiration, unexpectedly becomes a single parent after fathering a child with a shepherdess (India Hair). Pitched somewhere between the neo-Bressonian austerity of Bruno Dumont and the deadpan comedy of Luis Buñuel, Guiraudie’s bawdy, beguiling film subverts norms and expectations at every turn, and has a dreamlike logic that begins to approach the mythic. With its oddball digressions and often very explicit images, it’s also guaranteed to divide audiences — but there’s no denying that Guiraudie is a singular, and singularly open-hearted, talent!



“A perversely humorous and frequently bizarre tragicomedy ... Strange, wholly unpredictable, and invigorating.”

Sight & Sound | full review

“Wildly eccentric, darkly comic, and filled with you-don’t-see-that-often moments ... Guiraudie is unafraid to tackle big themes.”

Screen Daily | full review