NESSUNO VUOLE LA NOTTE
65. Berlinale (5-15 Febbraio 2015) - FILM di APERTURA - PREVIEW in ENGLISH by GUY LODGE (www.variety.com)
(Nadie quiere la noche; SPAGNA/FRANCIA/BULGARIA 2015; drammatico; 120'; Produz.: Neo Art Producciones sl/Noodles Productions/One More Movie)
Titolo in italiano: Nobody Wants the Night (Nessuno vuole la notte)
Titolo in lingua originale:
Nadie quiere la noche
Anno di produzione:
Anno di uscita:
Regia: Isabel Coixet
Soggetto: Ispirato a fatti realmente accaduti.
Cast: Rinko Kikuchi (Allaka)
Juliette Binoche (Josephine Peary)
Gabriel Byrne (Bram Trevor)
Matt Salinger (Capitano Spalding)
Velizar Binev (Fyodor)
Ciro MirĂł (Cyrus)
Musica: Lucas Vidal
Costumi: Clara Bilbao
Scenografia: Alexei Karagyaur e Carlos BodelĂłn
Fotografia: Jean-Claude Larrieu
Montaggio: Elena Ruiz
Scheda film aggiornata al:
17 Febbraio 2015
Groenlandia, 1909. Josephine Peary Ă¨ una donna matura, orgogliosa, determinata e ingenua, innamorata del celebre avventuriero Robert Peary, un uomo che preferisce gloria e ghiaccio ai comfort di una casa di classe superiore. Per lui si troverĂ ad affrontare ogni pericolo, anche rischiare la propria vita. Un'altra donna, giovane ma saggia, coraggiosa e umile - Allaka - Ă¨ innamorata dello stesso uomo e in attesa di suo figlio. Il paesaggio gelido implacabile separa e disegna le due donne insieme durante la lunga attesa di qell'uomo che antrambe amano ma in modi diversi.
Commento critico (a cura di GUY LODGE, www.variety.com)
ISABEL COIXET'S BERLINALE OPENER IS A SLEEPY, SNOWBOUND STUDY OF AMERICAN EXPLORER JOSEPHINE PEARY'S 1908 ARCTIC MISSION.
âNobody Wants the Night,â claims the title of Isabel Coixetâs internationally flavored Arctic opus, but auds may well find themselves succumbing to slumber anyway. Though it hardly wants for sincerity or ambition, Coixetâs portrait of an arduous mid-career expedition by American explorer Josephine Peary is dramatically as pallid and lifeless as the frozen tundra on which it takes place, burdened with a hokey romanticism that doesnât complement its quasi-feminist purview. Despite the name presence of Juliette Binoche and Rinko Kikuchi â both ill cast and ill served by Miguel Barrosâ windy, maudlin screenplay â and a profile-boosting slot as this yearâs Berlinale opener, this particular âNightâ is unlikely to see the light of day far beyond the festival circuit.
After the delicious Continental millefeuille of last yearâs Berlin curtain-raiser, âThe Grand Budapest Hotel,â the
festival has chosen to launch its 2015 edition with a stodgier brand of Europudding: As promised by a surfeit of production company and financier credits at the top, many hands have made heavy work of this Spanish-French-Bulgarian co-production, which further muddles its global credentials by casting a Frenchwoman as the Maryland-born Peary, with the Japanese Kikuchi as her Inuit ally. This is familiar border-busting territory for Barcelona native Coixet, who has cultivated a distinctive line in patchwork production since 1996âs âThings I Never Told You.â Yet while one could argue that the no-manâs-land milieu of the near-North Pole is conducive to such an approach, the filmâs pat moralizing about cross-cultural understanding rings somewhat false when neither its Inuit nor its American contingent feels especially authentic.
The film gives itself a loose narrative get-out clause with an onscreen caveat proclaiming itself âinspired by real characters.â It does, however, commit to real names
and locations in mapping out the essentials of Robert E. Pearyâs final assault on the North Pole in 1908 â a notionally successful mission undermined by a subsequent battle for bragging rights with rival explorer and former colleague Frederick Cook. This compromised accomplishment, briefly explained in a crammed series of concluding title cards, is a movie in itself â and was duly portrayed in the 1998 TV film âGlory & Honor.â But itâs of secondary interest to Coixet and Barros, who keep Peary an invisible presence while focusing on his wife Josephineâs steely efforts to catch up with him.
Co-star Clarence Smithâs sporadic and entirely extraneous voiceover informs us that Josephine left the coupleâs home in Washington â described, in Barrosâ increasingly purple scripting, as a haven of âsweet intimacy under soft linen sheetsâ â for her husbandâs vacated winter base camp at Ellesmere Island, Canada, in the fall of 1908.
Having trudged this far, with a bloody-mindedness belying her high-society refinement and unfit-for-purpose hoop skirts, she is informed by Irish supervisor Bram Trevor (a glumly hirsute Gabriel Byrne) that itâd be unwise to tail Peary any further, with weather conditions worsening and the daylight-free winter drawing in.
Naturally, this manner of insistent mansplaining only intensifies our protagâs drive, as she brazenly pushes on through the snowy abyss, shedding sleigh dogs and less motivated male cohorts one by one. When chief Eskimo guide Ninq (Orto Ignatiussen) finally throws in the towel, Josephine is stranded at another of her husbandâs abandoned rest points with only naive Inuit girl Alaka (Kikuchi) for company. The picâs second half, then, is effectively a fixed two-hander, as the women â mutually uncomprehending to the point of hostility â gradually locate common ground in order to survive. It emerges that Alaka has her own reasons for wishing to
track down Peary, which makes the film less Bechdel-compliant than its frontier-female premise might suggest: âYou donât have to bring him up in every conversation,â Josephine tetchily chides the younger woman, as if monitoring the scriptâs own persistent patriarchal undertow.
Given the severe setup and overriding lack of dramatic incident in this dominant section of the film, Coixetâs intention may have been a âPersonaâ-style dual character study, as the womenâs psychologies shift and collaborate over the course of one long, wholly isolated winter sleep. Neither the melodramatic thrust of Barrosâ writing nor the restless mannerisms of Coixetâs direction, however, comes close to achieving such concentration. In line with the po-faced solemnity of the material, Jean-Claude Larrieuâs frequently handheld camerawork appears to have been discouraged from basking in the majesty of the scenery: The filmâs 50 shades of snow coalesce into a modest gray in many scenes, a visual reflection of Josephineâs
growing sense of despondence. Even the filmâs digitally realized avalanche shots are restrained; Lucas Vidalâs prominent orchestral score skulks more than it soars. (Meanwhile, Coixetâs use of a single iris fade early in proceedings is bizarrely incongruous with the whole â a solitary fragment of the throwback adventure treatment Pearyâs story could have sustained.)
Played by an unusually unconvincing Binoche â her accent roaming as recklessly as the woman she plays â Josephine comes off as little more than a petulant pill; beyond the simple desire for spousal reunion, the inner curiosity and wanderlust fueling her hazardous mission is largely unaddressed. Broken-tongued and tattoo-scarred, Kikuchi commits to Alakaâs girlish savant qualities with more conviction, but is treated throughout as an exotic innocent; rarely does the camera afford her a perspective equal to Josephineâs. What poignant notes the performers succeed in striking as this (seemingly) sexless sisterly romance comes to fruition, moreover,
are strenuously underlined by writing that rarely lets a gesture go verbally unexplained. âCan any roof cover her emptiness?â muses our male narrator, with glib concern, of Josephine; for a female explorer, it would appear, merely defeating the elements isnât quite enough.
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