Strayed (France/UK ; 95 min.)

directed by: André Téchiné
starring: Emmanuelle Béart; Gaspard Ulliel; Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet
Les Égarés
Michael says: "Tonight, Scot and I watched STRAYED, a French film directed by André Téchiné (ALICE AND MARTIN; THE WILD REEDS) that I missed during its brief run at the Kendall. I was particularly interested as it features Agnès Godard as director of photography. I was also a fan of Téchiné’s earlier work.

"Emmanuelle Béart (8 WOMEN) plays Odile, a widow with two children fleeing Paris as the German’s invade during WWII. After their car is bombed, they must flee into the woods with the help of a seventeen-year-old boy named Yvan. Yvan convinces them that the roads are unsafe and the villages all evacuated; their best chance is to stay at an abandoned manor they find in the woods. Odile is protective of her children and initially mistrustful of Yvan, yet as he proves himself by supplying food each day, she slowly warms up to him and looks to him for support and guidance, slowly succumbing to a type of emotional shock and unwilling to move forward.

"Téchiné creates a strong film showing the effects of war on everyday life in an invaded country. He maintains a strong level of tension throughout the film without much occurring. When the story at last unfolds in the final ten minutes of the film, it is surprisingly moving. Téchiné and Godard give STRAYED an look and feel that is both idyllic and primal, with wind rushing through fields of grass and a surprisingly sensual lovemaking scene. Scenes shot outdoors at night are lit beautifully, and the amazing bombing scene is a cinematic feat (reminiscent of the ballooning accident in ENDURING LOVE in its stunning visuals.)

"Like many French films, there’s not a lot that really happens, although I was often reminded of Michael Haneke’s TIME OF THE WOLF with a mother alone in the wilderness with two children forced to accept the assistance of a not-quite adult. Definitely a worthwhile film, especially if you’re familiar with Téchiné’s earlier work. 3 ½ cats"