Terre battue Belgium, France 2014 – 95min.
Fired from a box clothing store, Jérôme finds himself on his own. With his wife Laura slowly distancing herself from him, he tries to rediscover a reason to live by opening his own business. His 11-year-old son Ugo has only one thing on his mind: passionate about tennis, he trains and dreams about going professional. A series of important matches and Laura’s departure challenges the lives of Jérôme and Ugo.
What is this movie by Stéphane Demoustier, brother of actress Anaïs, really about? Separation, a lost man, a woman in the midst of her own renaissance, a father and son, but also a man who is driven by competitions and competitors. The director seems lost within this vast dramatic field: Terre battue hesitates, advances in fits and starts, cant’ decide in which direction it’s going, nor where the heart of the story is. The result is the impression that the movie is about very little or isn’t about much, even as it offers a few beautiful scenes – such as Olivier Gourmet proffering his love of supermarkets, or the story arc of the son, played by Charles Mérienne.