Claire Denis' ('High Life') tremendously entertaining and ultimately moving drama is a beautifully observed and emotionally vibrant film about the relationship between a father and daughter.
Lionel is a widower. He has raised his daughter Joséphine alone since she was a baby. Now a young woman, Joséphine still lives with Lionel. Their world is one of warmth and affection, a wall against the more brutal realities of the outside world. But Lionel is also aware that Joséphine needs to break free of his confines, to find her place in the world, in order to decide what and who she wants to be. Likewise, it might also be time for him to find his own independence.
Claire Denis’ career has been split between her more formally daring works that push the envelope of cinema (most recently seen in the sci-fi drama ‘High Life’) and smaller, more compact every day dramas such as ‘Friday Night’ and this gorgeous rumination on family life. She captures the beauty and fragility of intimacy between father and daughter in a way that is both tender and touching. (The scene featuring the Commodores’ ‘Nightshift’ is reason enough to watch the film.)
Once again featuring music by Stuart Staples and his band The Tindersticks, the melodies and rhythm’s accompanying the subtleties of Denis’ sensitive handling of the central relationship, watching ‘35 Shots of Rum’ is to see one of the finest French directors at her best.
★★★★★ "A film of warm, subtle power" - Jason Solomons, The Independent
★★★★★ "Marvellous" - Willy Hammond, Time Out
★★★★★ "A profound, discreet, hugely touching work that resonates in the memory" - David Gritten, The Telegraph