'Different' vs. 'Pathological'
The cute Kruger and the excellent Saignier do a good job as Clara and Lily, two loving but thoroughly dissimilar sisters suddenly brought back together in their childhood countryside home by the sudden death of their mother. While older sis Clara has settled down in Paris with a husband and a job, Lily is living the ‘alternative’ life of a wild child in sync with nature and lots of little animals she loves to groom and kill by sticking them in the freezer.
Blinded by her fascination for ‘abnormality’, Berthaud fails to explore the difference between ‘different’ and ‘pathological’, between ‘love of nature’ and ‘sociopathic behavior’ in her naive depiction of the slow reuniting of the two sisters when Clara ‘sees the light’ and is cured of her normality. She also fails to convince us of what is so bad about Clara’s ‘normal’ life. In the end, the message is as puerile and conformist as the existence it is supposed to reject.
The idea that you should live in a dirty garden shack and deep-freeze small mammals to prove you don’t subscribe to a hypocritical, mainstream concept of life might be entertaining; it is also intellectually fraudulent.
PIEDS NUS SUR LES LIMACES | Directed by Fabienne Berthaud (France 2010) with Diane Kruger, Ludivine Sagnier. Opens May 5