(directors/writers: Fiona Gordon/Dominique Abel; cinematographers: Claire Childéric/Jean-Christophe Leforestier; editor: Sandrine Deegen; music: ; cast: Emmanuelle Riva (Aunt Martha), Dominique Abel(Dom), Fiona Gordon (Fiona), Pierre Richard(Duncan), Emmy Boissard (Paumelle), Fred Meert (Bob le Mountie), Philippe Martz (M. Martin), Olivier Parenty (L’employé de l’ambassade); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Cristie Molia/Charles Gillibert/Fiona Gordon/Dominique Abel; Oscilloscope; 2016-France/Belgium-in English and French, with English subtitles when necessary)
Its insistence on being absurd throughout became tiresome.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The Australian-born Canadian Fiona Gordon and the Belgian Dominique Abel (“The Fairy”) are the husband and wife team, who star in and are longtime collaborators co-writers and co-directors of this laborious whimsical burlesque comedy.

Though filled with adequately performed slapstick and physical comedy, its insistence on being absurd throughout became tiresome. If Abel is compared to the great Jacques Tati, as some do, I believe they are mistaken–he carries too much weight for this lighthearted role. After receiving a letter from her 88-year-old Aunt Martha (Emmanuelle Riva) in Paris, the middle-aged Fiona (Fiona Gordon), an unmarried librarian dwelling in the snowbound North of Canada, travels to Paris to help her troubled relative. The klutzy Fiona upon arrival immediately falls in the water, loses her backpack and can’t find Martha. While lost, she meets the homeless street person Dom (Dominique Abel). He rips off the items in her missing backpack and follows her around Paris, where they meet at a funeral home and sit through the ceremony mistakenly thinking the funeral is for her Aunt Martha. Eventually the bum falls in love with the awkward foreigner, as the odd couple make some kind of weird connection–which in this film passes for a human one. In the slight comedy, the film’s most delightful performance was given by Riva (who made an auspicious film debut in Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon Amour (1959)).

She could act light, and if given more screen time her last screen role before her death in 2017 might of saved the film from all its heavy charm and strained cuteness.

REVIEWED ON 12/27/2017 GRADE: C+  https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/