7/10 A pleasantly surprising film but one that took a completely different direction than I thought it would judging from the film’s trailer. I’m glad the marketing team didn’t give away too much in the trailer although the trailer makes this look more like a drama when it is in fact an absurd comedy with dramatic elements. Michelle Pfeiffer, who is phenomenal here, plays a despicable widow whose money is running out so she decides to take her son to live in Paris, where a friend is letting her live for free. Pfeiffer’s character is suicidal and wants to kill herself once her money runs out. That all sounds like a depressing drama and in the first act I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy the film because we’d be spending the nearly two hour run time with unlikable characters (her son, played wonderfully by Lucas Hedges isn’t so much unlikeable as he is cowardly). Thankfully, once the second act began, we got to see some character growth and the humor finally entered the picture. The film takes a supernatural twist but plays it so straight that you can tell the absurdity of everything that’s going on. There isn’t a ton of humor but what’s there worked and due to the supernatural elements I found myself more and more intrigued as the film went on. The story is original (although it is adapted from a novel), the cast is pitch perfect and the score/soundtrack fit the French atmosphere as the majority of the film is spent there. Although I haven’t read the book upon which this is based, author Patrick deWitt adapted his own book for the screen and did a great job of it so I assume whether he added anything or took anything out, the end result was highly entertaining. As for my complaints, while the absurdity is funny and allows for realism to go out the window, by the film’s end there were just one too many coincidences that took me out of the film. For example, a couple show up near the end of the film but we have no idea how they would even know where to locate our main characters. Side characters also hung around way longer than they realistically would have. While the pacing largely worked, the last 15 minutes began to drag a little bit and as I stated earlier, the first half begins a little slowly. That being said, this is an independent film that is not for most mainstream audiences but if you know this is an absurd comedy that doesn’t have the feel of what the trailer sells, you might find yourself enjoying this film like I did and not running for the (French) exit.

#Frexit / #TheFrenchDisconnection / #TheCatInTheFlat / #PardonMyFrenchExit / #CutthroatPrices / #LadyAbsurd

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