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JDIFF 2013 reviews part 1: Looking For Hortense, Mercy and The Body

Dublin’s annual film festival, better known as the (deep breath) 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, is now in full swing. We previewed things here and have been attending these movies all weekend; it’s been tough oul work, but so far there’s been no big delays, crowd riots or popcorn shortages. Phew.

As with last year, we’re delighted to feature some guest reviews from Mick McGovern, aka amawaster. Visit his site here and follow him on the oul twitter here. We’ll have more from him and lots of Páraic and Nigel reviews coming up over the next 7 days.

Follow all our JDIFF coverage here

Looking For Hortense

Looking For Hortense (Cherchez Hortense)


Directed by: Pascal Bonitzer // Starring: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Kristin Scott Thomas, Isabelle Carré // France
IMDB // Screened at JDIFF on February 15th 2013

French dramedy about a man pressured by his wife, who may be about to embark on affair, to help get his father, a judge, to help save a polish immigrant friend of a friend from being deported. The film works well off Bacri’s hangdog charm and when Bacri and Scott Thomas are on-screen together it’s very good and there are some very funny moments in the film, but overall it didn’t quite work for me, particularly the important relationship between Carre and Bacri.


Mercy (Gnade)

Mercy (Gnade)


Directed by: Matthias Glasner // Starring: Birgit Minichmayr, Jürgen Vogel, Henry Stange // Country: Germany, Norway
IMDB // Screened at JDIFF on February 16th 2013

A German family relocated to Norway, for work reasons, in the middle of winter end up involved in a tragic accident. The film deals with the complex moral dilemmas and decisions faced by the family about what they should do next. The setting adds greatly to the film which features strong performances from a cast speaking at least three languages. On the downside the film is overlong and you’re never really sure who to feel sympathy for, which meant I wasn’t as engaged as I would have liked.


The Body Oriol Paulo

The Body (El Cuerpo)


Directed by: Oriol Paulo // Starring: Belén Rueda, Hugo Silva, Aura Garrido // Country: Spain
IMDB // Screened at JDIFF on February 16th 2013

Not being a fan of Julia’s Eyes, which Paulo wrote, I still decided to give El Cuerpo a go, but probably shouldn’t have. A spooked security guard is hit by a car while running away from a morgue and in the meantime a body of a rich woman goes missing, the police then try to piece together who or why her body was taken, the main suspect being her husband. The film has plenty of characters you’ve seen before, and while I was expecting some horror elements they never really arrived, couple of “shocks” but the film is more of a procedural with flashbacks, most of which are way too close to bad soap opera.

Follow all our JDIFF coverage here