Day 179: The Adopted (September, 4)

I only found out that The Adopted (Les Adoptés) was directed by Mélanie Laurent at the final credits. This movie was so not what I had expected, this element only added to my surprise in front of this beautifully told story.

Since Inglourious Basterds, I've been paying attention to her career. She is a strong presence on screen, even in smaller productions. At this one, she proved that she can also tell a story behind the cameras.

The incredibly delicate portrait of three people going through a tragic lost gripped me by the heart. I was enraptured by how this story was so not stereotyped. Those were real people to me - the gentle and honest narrative brought close to  them. 

In a scene, a kid runs to his room after very sad news. The camera focus on his green toy car in a black and white patterned floor. Saying like that seems so banal, and that exactly it. What was so important just a moment ago looses relevance on the next minute, and the boy passes by it as it doesn't exist anymore. This is just an example how the carefully crafted art design is simple, but is a narrator too, another element that puts the viewer on the story.

And that kid I mentioned? He is amazing, a constant delight in this movie (Théodore Maquet-Foucher as the sweet and clever Léo). The attentive look to him is one of the many wonders in the film. And there are so many, each one of them a piece in this beautiful portrait of a overwhelming tragedy. Everything was right in her, at my view: solid performances, a good script, art direction, soundtrack... 

A small gem this movie is. Of course I was crying at the end (even the realization about the movie's title is heartbreaking). But it was a quiet weep, according to the gentleness of the narrative. 

Les Adoptés. Directed by Mélanie Laurent. With: Marie Denarnaud, Denis
Ménochet, Mélanie Laurent. Writers: Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Perez,
Christophe Deslandes. France, 2011, 100 min., Color (Netflix).

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