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Berlin Review: Ursula Meier’s ‘The Line’

Violence and motherhood fabricate for an irregular mixture in Ursula Meier’s Berlin Film Competition competition title The Line (La Ligne). Role in a ways flung trace-day Switzerland, it stars actor-singer-playwright Stéphanie Blanchoud as Margaret, whose nettle in the direction of her mother Christina (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) commonly turns physical. Whereas she’s a grown lady, there’s one thing primal and childlike about Margaret’s visceral fury that suggests a disorder that’s by no strategy named.

It also ingredients to concerns in her previous. These become obvious as a restraining teach is filed towards her, and as Christina rants about the formative years she misplaced when she had an adolescent so younger. Christina has since had two other daughters: Louise (India Hair), now carefully pregnant, and aloof schoolgirl Marion (newcomer Elli Spagnolo), whose manner of rebelling towards her bohemian, self-centered mother is to flip to religion.

It’s an intriguing memoir of familial disharmony that’s distinctive both visually and thematically. The line of the title isn’t perfect metaphorical: it’s a physical line of paint rolled into the grass all the most realistic seemingly plan by the family dwelling, a merciless and darkly amusing visualization of the boundaries between Margaret and her mother and siblings.

And yet, Margaret is no longer an as we pronounce sympathetic pick: she is aggressive and wild, bruised internal and out. Whereas we’ve considered many male characters worship this, it’s rare to procure an adult female lead with these traits. This makes The Line as refreshing because it’s annoying, intelligent us to query our enjoy preconceptions about ladies folks who focus on largely bodily.

Blanchoud places in a committed and unnerving flip, very believable as a wounded, offended particular person, repeating angry feedback again and again as she flies into an uncontrollable rage.

Meanwhile Bruni Tedeschi highlights the script’s darkly amusing impulses, flitting between childlike mania and imperious self-righteousness as she instructions the consideration of her formative years on a whim, yet neglects them at every other moment. Her quixotic nature is evident in the firm of her unique boyfriend, Hervé (Dali Benssalah), by whom Margaret turns into quietly fascinated.

Extra sad comedy comes courtesy of Louise, who offers beginning to twins. Both infants cease up being old for rich comedy and symbolism, whether or no longer being passed between kinfolk or feeding from one breast each.

Essentially the most touching drama is from Margaret’s interactions along with her younger sister, Marion, and her ex-boyfriend Julien (Benjamin Biolay) — nevertheless The Line stops rapid of being a deeply emotional seek for. At cases it feels as chilly because the chilly ambiance it depicts. Light, it’s also an assured and keen insight into the kind of female-dominated family we infrequently ever respect on screen.

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