Sunday, 12 September 2010


Sat by her window on a busy day, a red-haired woman named Anne observes the pedestrians and café dwellers outside. This is the final snatch of urbanity for her before she sets off hiking in the rugged moors of Ireland. On her travels, she bewilders tourists who witness her eating leftover food pilfered from bins, and throws off the lecherous gestures of a truck driver who picked her up by screaming like a banshee. Clad in unoffensive neutral colours, Anne appears to be at peace in the presence of untouched nature, but at the discovery of a seemingly unoccupied lake house she finds herself bothering the occupier, a widower named Martin, for bed and board. Martin accepts on the condition that she assist him in his gardening, beginning an unusual relationship that approaches something like mutual solitude.

Transnational director Urszula Antoniak sidesteps the obvious option of making Anne (or even the entire film) mute in order to hit home her isolation, but the character’s refusal to divulge information about herself, coupled with her hard-to-place accent and fiery disposition, depicts her as an untamable sprite figure. Little is revealed about Martin either, and in this way the two have an unspoken understanding, one that the audience can latch onto the moment the characters realise a shared taste in music. It’s a film one could imagine Michael Winterbottom making in a slow year, but Antoniak shows only enough of her story to leave the viewer wanting to revisit it again and again.

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