DRAMA; 1hr 37min (French with subtitles)
STARRING: Léa Seydoux, Kacey Mottet Klein, Gillian Anderson
Lost in space: Klein and Seydoux
There are two Swiss Alps in director Ursula Meier’s telling drama: the peaks, where financially blessed tourists — bonjour, Ms Anderson — strut their stuff in ski villages, and the badlands down below, where 12-year-old toughie Simon (Klein) lives in a nondescript apartment with his erratic sister, Louise (Seydoux, looking wiped-out).
His parents are dead — or so Simon tells people — and he steals to survive. He has a knack for it, too, swiping skis, sunnies, goggles and gloves and reselling them with the nerveless panache of the pro. It isn’t all plain sailing; still, played by Klein with pack-mule stoicism underpinned by an aching need to belong, Simon mostly makes out okay.
Regardless of Simon’s cunning, the law of averages decrees that boundaries will eventually crumble for both him and the barely-in-control Louise. When they do, dramatically, Simon, who had so little to start with, is left with even less. While never overemphasising, Meier doesn’t flinch from any of that, but nor does she let us forget that Simon is really just a kid and that hope is not entirely an alien concept.