A couple of weeks ago I'm sitting across from a woman I've known for the better part of five years. Have you ever known of someone but never truly knew their depth? Yeah, that's the kind of way I knew this woman. She is a woman on the heels of first book being released. The book is her story. It is the story of how her marriage crumbled, largely in part to her husband's addiction to pornography and how she responded emotionally to her. In our interview, which you can hear in episode 235, Dana discusses how the events made her feel as a woman. The two eventually divorced and she was now a single mother. Think about the weight, though, that an addiction like sex or pornography can plague a family.
Such is the case for the French film, Alice. The film centers around a woman, of which the film is named after, whose husband puts the family near bankruptcy after he develops an addiction to prostitutes. In an attempt to save her family and start a new, Alice turns to the very thing which destroyed her family. There's an indescribable elegance to this movie. Emilie Piponnier leads this film with such utter grace and vulnerability ‐ her performance alone is worth the journey. She is sweet, charming, & has such raw delivery. Her performance is riddled with absolutes in emotion, humor and sheer honesty. Your eyes are constantly glued to her arc throughout the entirety of the film's duration.
When it's matched with her chemistry with Chloé Boreham, the film is endorsed by this mentor-mentee relationship that blossoms beautifully into friendship boarding family. That's in large part due to the natural chemistry between the two actresses. Boreham holds her own as a fellow prostitute and friend that delivers an equally emotionally engaging performance which delves into some of the most unexpected moments of the film. Even with its shorter runtime, Alice is simplistic in its delivery but utterly effective nonetheless. The pacing of the motion picture borders flawless. Even when you think you've seen the last of a character, they are reintroduced with an absolutely fresh purpose. The reinvention and growth of its characters make Alice one of the boldest films of this year - without a doubt.
Perhaps a major character issue for this film is the reinvention of the husband character, played by Martin Swabey. Largely when setting up the narrative of Alice's arc, the husband feels like a throwaway character. Everything that happens could have merely been spoken about. Even when the narrative dares to reintroduce him, he's a glorified babysitter. He just feels unnecessary to the story with the exception of the film's ending.
Overall, Alice, is an elegant piece of cinema. As it swims with heavier themes in its currents, its matched by raw and beautiful performances by Emilie Piponnier & Chloe Boreham. The movie begs for conversation long after the credits roll on just how deep addiction can go. A film that is riddled in beautiful cinematography, terrific characters and even some genuinely humorous moments - Alice is a must see. A beautiful French darling engaging with intention and raw beauty - this client does not disappoint.
And more importantly, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, addiction, self-harm or depression - please free feel to reach out. Use any our resources, call the suicide lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or text 741-741. This is an official selection of Lost Weekend XII.