|2007 France, Canada La Capture|
La Capture also features some nicely nuanced direction from veteran French actress Carole Laure who also wrote the screenplay. Employing not so much a vignette technique as a chaptered one, scenes fade in and fade out the way someone might illustrate a process using bullet points. Sometimes details are left out or unresolved but that only serves to underscore their unimportance in the telling of this story. For example, a scene of Rose doing a poetic reading to her father of man as social animal philosophy is followed a little later by a scene where several animals populate the rehearsal studio and do nothing more than look upon this man tied to a chair. It's a powerful and interesting scene without explanation of how the animals may have come or gone, but it's not that far-fetched a scenario given the portrait Laure has painted of Rose as a seemingly well-adapted, well-liked, sexually happy and satisfied young woman whose life is grounded in practicing that new-age acting technique where people pretend to be animals.
Catherine de Léan has a tough, natural beauty well suited, for the most part, to the role of skirt and boot wearing Rose. Part of the story arc involves changes to her character that occur after she becomes the one in power exerting control. I wasn't as convinced by her portrayal of the gun wielding crazy sister who rescues her brother from drug dealers, but that may be due to the overall inferior telling of that part of the story. Her brother hasn't fared as well in life, hasn't yet "gotten away" and serves as a more typical case juxtaposition to Rose. Interesting that director Laure uses a few provocative, though not too explicit sex scenes showing Rose as more atypical from many victims of abuse. Sexually fulfilled is a necessary ingredient in a happy life, right? There's only an implicit case made for the power of new age consciousness in Rose's well adjusted living.
La Capture does a better job showing us than telling us, but that's not a criticism. This is an engaging film to watch and I think the director set out to make it that way and succeeded. I was in the mood for French and La Capture delivered a well crafted, smartly done package. Nice to see Pascale Bussières as la mère (the mother). It's not a big role, and her character is medicated and abused to the point of numbness—a woman who "floats, barely there ... invisible by choice", but just having her around adds to the film's rep.
Summary: Rose, (20), lives in Montreal. She almost never lies. She possesses a natural elegance and candour beyond her years. But beneath the gloss, Rose hides a dark secret that neither her friends nor her lover know about: her childhood in a violent family household.
Two years after leaving for Montreal Rose returns to visit her mother and her brother, Felix (16), in their suburban home. Nothing has changed: her mother's resignation, her brother's victimization, and her father's abusiveness.
Rose decides it's time to act. She kidnaps and sequesters her father in an attempt to change the course of her family's life. Little by little, she assumes the role of the head of the family but her determination is countered by her father's resistance.
Captured, will he capitulate? Will Rose and her family be able to recover and rebuild a decent life?