TVIFF: THE FROST
Here’s the break down on the first of today’s viewings:
Norway/Spain, 2009, 103 min
Writer/Director: Ferran Audi
Executive Producer: Raul Perales, Amanda de Luis
Cast: Aitana Sahcnez-Gijon, Tron Espen Seim, Bibi Anderson, Jordi Cortes Molina
After the accidental death of their only son, Rita and Alfred feel such remorse that they engage in a fierce fight of mutual destruction. Guilt confronts them with a painful recognition: obsessed by their selfish little need, they forgot to love their son. As truth is revealed, all their inner demons are unleashed. They haunt and prick them on a road to hope or to damnation, whilst they desperately try to make amends for all those things they left undone in the past.
Here’s the problem with reviewing films… going in, the premise of this film worked against it for me. Not only has it been done umpteen times but being such a small film I expected the worst. That is where The Frost managed to surprise me.
I’ll admit that this isn’t a film for everyone. Admittedly, being a proud member of an ADD generation, I didn’t think this film would work for me. The pacing of this film is slow and deliberate and sets the pace from the opening minutes. Cache (starring Juliette Binoche) popped in my head immediately. However, The Frost manages to keep you interested the entire length of the film.
I will admit that it took the film a good hour to make me feel like the time I had invested was worth it. A speech given by the mother (Rita) at the one hour mark solidified this point. For the next 30 minutes, the film becomes quite poignant and moving.
The problem is it takes a while to get there. As mentioned in the film’s description, a family loses their only child. A moment that, had it been more fully realized, could’ve driven the impact of the film home fully. Not that I enjoy watching a child die… still, that scene is the backbone of the film that gives every scene that follows it’s strength.
Still, what I viewed was a powerfully emotional story of a family dealing with loss. Anchored by the beautiful performances of all involved. So far, this is the strongest film I’ve seen on all levels of filmmaking. The performance given by the parents, played by Aitana Sanchez-Gijon and Trond Espen Seim (soon to appear in the remake of The Thing), make the film well worth watching alone.
In the end, I have to give this film a: RENT IT! While I thoroughly, and surprisingly, enjoyed the film, I can’t say it’s for everyone. And, for an ADD kid like me, it benefits from seeing it in a theater. I imagine if I’d seen the film in my living room, with a glass full of ale, many of the films subtleties would’ve been lost on me. It also suffers from the fact that it tries to be an art house film when it certainly has strong legs as a straight up drama. Still, if you can find a screening, I would highly suggest checking it out!
View the trailer by CLICKING HERE!!!