You Were Never Really Here France, UK, USA 2017 – 85min.
You Were Never Really Here
Senator's daughter disappears. Joe, a brutal and tortured veteran, sets out to find her. Confronted with a wave of revenge and corruption, he is caught up in a spiral of violence...
Presented at the last Cannes Film Festival, You Were Never Really Here won over the public, critics and especially Pedro Almodovar's jury. The French-US-UK production has won two awards: best actor for Joaquin Phoenix and best screenplay. While the American actor's award is not a surprise given the his crazy performance, it's hard to understand why the movie was rewarded for its script. It’s very poetic at times, but its can also be unoriginal and very basic in its construction. The film's strength is above all its director Lynne Ramsay. The British filmmaker, who created the very good We Need To Talk About Kevin, offers a range of highly stylized and innovative scenes, including one seeen entirely through surveillance cameras. However, in searching at all costs for authenticity in its mise-en-scene even as it skips along on a poor script, the movie sometimes seems like a compilation of graphic scenes with no real background. It’s not necessarily helped by editing that is hesitant and far from optimal, in the end result You Were Never Really is, like its main character, a tortured film that ends up disappointing more than impressing.