L’Attesa (The Wait)
Visually inspiring director Piero Messina opens The Wait with a montage of beautifully-framed shots, setting the standard for the rest of the film. Messina plays with angels, point of view, movement and frame to echo in each shot the painful beauty his protagonists are displaying.
We open at a house being closed, and Juliette Binoche (Anna) coming to terms with the loss of her son via the spontaneous arrival of his estranged girlfriend Jeanne (played by Lou de Laâge). Jeanne is unaware of his death, and her budding relationship with Anna allows her to have her final moments with her son through Jeanne’s naive eyes. Both Binoche as the composed, grieving mother and De Laâge as the repentant girlfriend deliver incredibly touching performances. The two women’s stories weave together effortlessly as their dynamic develops, contrasting as solitary widow and wild, virile youth. Binoche maintains the award-winning performance she gave in Blue by depicting suffering with understated and heart-wrenching skill.
The stunning cinematography is paired with an original sound score comprised of a mix of modern songs and instrumental pieces that emphasise the struggle loss provokes in both women. Messina is not afraid of silence, and uses sound as a tool to manipulate the audience’s perception as independent observer and as the point of view of the character. The only flaw is the over-heavy focus is given to the psychological aspect in place of the surface details.
The Wait is a still and poignant European drama that delivers on every level.
L’Attesa (The Wait) does not have a UK release date yet.
Watch the trailer for L’Attesa (The Wait) here: