Donnerstag, 9. Oktober 2014

Filmfest Hamburg: Tu dors Nicole (You're Sleeping Nicole)

Canadian writer/director Stéphane Lafleur's female slacker movie "Tu dors Nicole (You're Sleeping Nicole)" has cute, witty dialogue sprinkled throughout and recurrent flashes of visual/aural flourish, but as a feature film there's just not enough material or structure to make it feel present, memorable, consequential.

Set in suburban Canada, the young protagonist has the house to herself and a long summer ahead with the parents away on vacation and her first credit card in hand. The brother soon moves in with his rock band, whose new drummer seems to have the right stuff for a romantic fling. The best friend talks her into booking a spontaneous trip to Iceland, only to back off from the plan herself. And then there's the ex-boyfriend with his new wife cruising around and the skinny kid from the neighborhood with a newly dropped, ingeniously dubbed voice making age-inappropriate advances... While plenty of events seem to take place, they're not driven by a central narrative and appear altogether peripheral, decorative. Besides acquainting the audience with these characters, the story barely progresses after the entire first hour.

Here and there we're treated to deceptively goofy passages that strike a chord with their take on the folly of life. And the black-and-white photography, while not always looking crisp or high-contrast enough, does give us some yummy, warmly atmospheric shots, often accompanied by psychedelic, indie-spirited music. One can also hardly fault lead actress Julianne Côté, who not only makes a strong physical impression with her boyishly square chin and high forehead, but is also quite winsome with her open looks of impatience, suspicion, relief. But overall, the movie is way too lax to make any substantial impact. Above all else it serves as an additional reminder of just how miraculous an achievement the similarly themed and styled German stunner "Oh Boy" was.

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