La fille inconnue Belgium, France 2016 – 113min.

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The Unknown Girl

Movie Rating: Geoffrey Crété

A young GP, Jenny replaces a doctor in a small practice which she intends to leave soon to follow her own ambitions. One night after closing, she refuses to answer when someone rings the doorbell after a long day. She learns the next day that a teenager was found dead in the front yard of the practice. Because the girl cannot be identified, Jenny embarks on an investigation and find out who she was.

For once, a movie by the Dardenne brothers was coldly received at the Cannes Film Festival, where the two usually do better than that, up to now winning two Golden Palms, among other awards. Seven minutes were therefore cut from The Unknown Girl for its theatrical release, in hopes of making up for the initially bad publicity. But that probably won’t save the film: it is mechanical, simplistic, firmly locked within a plot that meets social conventions and is desperately lacking in finesse and dramatic dimension. It will undoubtedly remain one of their minor films, despite the talent of Adèle Haenel. A shock that is all the greater because their previous film Two Days, One Night was one of their finest.

13.10.2016

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