The Woman with Leopard Shoes
An unnamed burglar (Paul Bruchon, brother of the film’s director Alexis Bruchon) is hired by a mysterious woman to steal a small box from an empty house. The job is supposed to simple, however disaster strikes when a horde of guests unexpectedly arrive for a lavish party, trapping him in the study. The plot thickens when he uncovers the corpse of a man in the wardrobe, a find that throws him into the centre of an endlessly twisting conspiracy that grows deeper with each new finding.
The Woman with Leopard Shoes is the brainchild and passion project from illustrator turned first-time filmmaker Alexis Bruchon, who wrote, directed and edited the feature alongside composing and mixing its soundtrack. This sleek noir thriller wears its inspirations on its sleeve, with the director citing the likes of Murder My Sweet, Kiss Me Deadly and Hammer horrors as his main influences. The striking monochrome of the cinematography casts forbidding silhouettes across the study walls and oozes style in every shot. The producer has an eye for visual storytelling and uses every frame as an opportunity to weave this twisting tale. The suave, brassy and skin-tingling score is just as crucial in creating the intoxicating atmosphere taken straight from retro-noir cinema. This movie is effortlessly cool and a treat to take in from beginning to end.
A stunning and elegant homage to the genre it takes its inspiration from, Leopard Shoes is a case of style over substance. The plot is populated with countless surprises and “gotcha” moments, though many of these narrative beats are told through text messages. Our burglar’s only means of communication is his phone, which he uses to contact key players. Watching game-changing discoveries play out on a phone screen in the heat of a claustrophobic murder mystery sucks a lot of the tension away and no amount of exclamation marks (there are a lot of them) can make texting suspenseful.
Bruchon demonstrates incredible talent in his first feature film, although it’s somewhat rough around the edges. Already working on another project and the next instalment in what’s set to be a trilogy, there’s still plenty of time for him to hone his craft to become a unique voice in cinema.
The Woman with Leopard Shoes does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for The Woman with Leopard Shoes here: