Boris without Béatrice (Denis Côté, 2016): Canada

Reviewed by Tilda Sorvari. Viewed at AFI Film fest 2016.


Boris without Béatrice is a beautiful drama written and directed by Denis Côté which got nominated for best picture at Berlin International Film Festival 2016. Denis Côté also got multiple nominations and awards for his work on Curling (2010). This French-Canadian story evolves the relationship between a father and daughter living on the countryside dealing with a not so “normal” everyday life. There are similarities between these two dramas and Denis Côté captures the mystique, natural and raw but still formalistic world, furthermore the moral and ethnical issues in a very interesting way. Both movies have a twisted humor which at sometimes is subtle, but it’s there.

In Boris without Beatrice we get to follow a mans change from being an egocentric masochist to a carrying family man. What stands out in this movie is the formalistic ice cold lifestyle Boris is living. He has no compassion towards society nevertheless his own family. His wife is run-down and can not take care of herself. Meanwhile Boris is out doing whatever he wants not thinking twice, until a man appears. Is it his conscious? Is it God? Or just a strange man?

I really enjoyed this movie. Denis Côté allows the audience to feel however they want and make up a conclusion on their own. The interpretation of the context may vary from person to person which I like. It creates an afterthought and discussion. I like how they spoke English, French and also some Russian, very international. You always had to listen to what they said because sometimes you had to snap up on reading the subtitle. Thru out the movie Boris was centered in frame and the camera angle on Boris was pretty much straight on but with a slightly low angle to make Boris look more powerful. The production design is outstanding. I really like how modern and stylish the movie is, the locations are beautiful, rustic and you get a feeling of upperclass. I think you should watch this movie if you like design and if you like to analyze, since the ending is for you to interpretate.

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