The line is there to be crossed on this engrossing, unnerving however unexpectedly sympathetic drama of household dysfunction from French-Swiss film-maker Ursula Meier who made her memorable debut again in 2008 with the eco-parable Residence, starring a very intransigent Isabelle Huppert. Meier has a knack of making overwhelming moms: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is on very imperious and distrait kind as Christina, a former classical live performance pianist who deserted her profession for her household and by no means let her three daughters neglect it – lastly changing into a demanding music instructor who additionally seems to have taken her oldest little one as a pupil. That is Margaret (Stéphanie Blanchoud) who’s a gifted pop musician, singer and guitarist with a thriving native following.
Possibly Margaret owes a few of her success to her not possible mom and possibly she doesn’t. However her explosive mood is worsened by any contact along with her mum and the movie begins with a spectacular, violent struggle in slo-mo in entrance of her aghast sisters Louise (India Hair) and Marion (Elli Spagnolo), accompanied by among the tasteful classical music that has helped drive Margaret over the sting. It’s brought on by … what? The whole lot and nothing. It’s been constructing her entire life. However Margaret provides her mom a slap to the aspect of the pinnacle which supplies Christina tinnitus – what she describes as a steady excessive B-flat in her head.
No person’s urgent costs however Margaret is served with a restraining order: she can not go inside 100 metres of her mom, a restriction which Marion enforces by solemnly portray a blue line round their property. So Christine, affected by her ache and her poisonous anger, haunts this line, this restrict of her behaviour, even bringing out her electrical guitar in order that she will help Marion practise her solo singing. (She too has inherited her mom’s musical expertise.)
All of those characters begin the movie as hardly greater than caricature; folks within the shadow of this unusual and somewhat stunning act of violence. However as Margaret’s cuts and bruises fade so does the emotional temperature, and the three girls emerge as totally rounded and even somewhat likable folks. Even Christina, as soon as she has removed the infant grand piano that dominated the household lounge, turns into a bit simpler to stay with.
It may very well be that La Ligne will grow to be a part of that distinct movie custom – alongside motion pictures akin to Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces, James Toback’s Fingers and Michael Haneke’s The Piano Instructor – which is about the price of significantly learning music, concerning the ache that may be a poisonous, unacknowledged byproduct. It additionally has excellent performances from Blanchoud and Bruni-Tedeschi.