It seems to me that there are a lot of French films about a group of sisters of varying ages who have to get together to deal with an emotional reveal – whether it is a family secret, an illness, a death or something else. Often, they are beautiful, slow and moving. Often, the characters show such deep emotion that I leave the cinema feeling despair, yet grateful of my own life.
The Rest of the World has some of these elements – there are sisters and grief and a family secret, but I just didn’t care about them. I’ve been trying to put my finger on why. Part of it is that every character was really annoying in one way or another. Sometimes, it was their over-the-top behaviour – either drunkenness or stupidity. Other times, it was their stillness or their lack of ability to express their emotion.
There was a beauty to many of the shots and I will still keep my eyes open for work from director Damien Odoul, but I hope that in his future films, the characters are more appealing so that I can engage with their journey.