Trouble Every Day

Rated NR

French writer/director Claire Denis is known for her quiet, spacious, beautifully photographed meditations on the banal sadness of quotidian existence. With their minimal dialogue and action, her films would be boring if they weren’t so precise and so telling in the subtleties of their performances. Trouble Every Day has all these qualities, but for some unknown reason, it also features the most horrifying scenes of cannibalism and murder that have ever been filmed. Perhaps Denis thought she had to get into the vogue for shock that has swept francophone films in the past few years (see, for example, such films as Man Bites Dog and Rape Me). Maybe she decided that her subdued style needed a little punching up. For whatever reason, she has made what is by far the most disturbing of the recent French shock films, mostly because it maintains so much space and restraint in the majority of its runtime. While Trouble Every Day is clearly the work of a master filmmaker, it’s a little hard to recommend to anyone with anything like a sensitive psyche.

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