review by Jon
All Yvonne wants is to go to America and visit her pen pal,
who has a swimming pool in her back yard. Her parents can’t
afford to give that gift to her, because money is tight. On
top of that, marital problems are starting to become a problem.
Something has to give. Marianne, the mother, breaks much more
when she wins the lotto. The surge of money causes more strife
than no money and the onset of winter looks like it’ll
be awfully cold.
Now I understand that with newfound wealth there could be
relationship problems, but the motivations of Marianne make
little sense to me. She ends up buying her daughter a swimming
pool (in a frigid November month), but for some reason can’t
afford the plane ticket to the US. She freaks out about the
car that her husband, Paul, buys. This is understandable, because
he didn’t consult her, and she was the one who bought
the ticket and won the money. Yet, she goes out and purchases
plane tickets for herself to go a different foreign country.
It’s fine to be conservative to a degree, but she was
hypocritical. Her handling of the situation was stupid, frustrating
and I wish it wasn’t the main cause of conflict. I didn’t
Another problem I had with it is that the beginning gives
away the end. Within the first five, ten minutes you find out
that Yvonne freezes to death sleeping inside the empty swimming
pool. In a small way, this is good, because then you see how
incredibly dumb and pointless the mom’s decisions and “sacrifices” were,
and it gives you a hindsight perspective. But, it’s also
moronic, because I have no problem telling you what happens
at the end, because it’s right there in the beginning.
You end up waiting for the end. You find yourself guessing
how much time is left in the movie and how many more plot points
must occur before reaching the final resolution.
Maybe eventually first-time writer/director Luki Frieden (from
Switzerland) will get better at storytelling. He also puts
in a “Magnolia” sequence where the cast of characters
sings along to a somber song that’s obviously not part
of the scene. Not only is it a rip off, but it’s a bad
one, because it’s out of nowhere and doesn’t fit
the feel or the style of the rest of the picture. The relationships
between some of the characters aren’t established well
enough. How do they know each other? He also relies on the
standard blue tint to insinuate the oncoming winter and emotional
I guess I really don’t have much of anything positive
to say. The dad looks like Robin Williams, if that means anything.
The whole thing is just too trite for me.
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