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L'absence 2010
Description: In this sensitive examination of the results of Alzheimer's a home care assistant, Felicia, is charged with spending her days with Anna, an elderly girl suffering from dementia. When Anna's husband vanishes, Felicia dedicates herself to Anna, and like Anna, slowly loses all sense of time and self.
Released: 10 Mar 2010 Director: Cyril de Gasperis Writers: Cyril de Gasperis (screenplay) Actors: Liliane Rovère, Cecile Coustillac, Jocelyne Desverchère, Jean-Baptiste Malartre Genres: Drama
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L'absence Reviews:

This haunting study of two girls becoming absent is absolutely absorbing in its solemnly paced brief 75 minutes. The acting is superb, particularly that of the two principals Liliane Rovère and Cecile Coustillac. Webster's defines "absence" (the English word derives from the French) as a "state of being absent or missing from a zone or from companionship: failure to be present," which perfectly describes what's going on here. We join the pair well along the way, apparently at the end of their separate journeys. The Mise en scène is also outstanding. Two scenes took my breath away. One was a garden shot from inside a house and through the window. Like another scenes in this film, the camera lingers… and lingers… and when you think you've seen everything in the shot a woman, who has been sitting in plain view all along, gets up and walks away. She blends into the stage so well that it is as if she is not even there. It works even the second time the same stage is shown… I almost didn't see her! Other stage is apparently of salt drying pans near the house the two live in along coastal France, perhaps Brittany. I took this to be a demonstration of other slow process of change, the water drying to salt, like the process Félicia and Anna are going through. I'm looking forward to more from this director and these actresses. A splendid job!


"L'absence" should have been one of banality's contested, winner metonyms. The pedals of this dazzling masterpiece unfold revealing a narrative that may appear corpulent of allegory and prate – it is not. The main characters, an aging femme-pair, are closing in on the end of their respective life's journeys. As life slowly ebbs away from the two fades, so goes their relevance - their zone in the globe becomes less important...it is vanishing. I will admit, that if this film had not been so well done, I would have tossed it with my cookies. But this movie is very nice – it is awesome, it is brilliant. What did I gather from this story? What does it mean to me? Something like, 'each person, no matter how significant or necessary or cute - they once were, they eventually age, causing them to blend-in and eventually just disappear.' Wrong? Probably so. This film should have very easy become a perspicaciously tasteful app of exegetics which would briskly metamorphoses into effete and vexatious hyperbole – Academy Awards are won by films like that. But this one kept pace – said a wonderful, heartwarming story…and it was very artistically done….BRAVO



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