Aug. 20, 2017
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'Staying Vertical' Review: Merde! Ce film suce

February 8, 2017, 12:00 am

It’s slightly jarring that Staying Vertical from French director Alain Guiraudie (Stranger by the Lake) just sort of starts out of nowhere, even more so when it jumps from scene to scene in a loosely structured series of vignettes tied to one another by a main character and seemingly little else. Said main character is Léo (Damien Bonnard), an in-over-his-head filmmaker who somehow fathers a child with a young shepherdess named Marie (India Hair) as he trawls the countryside searching for inspiration. Fatherhood and farm girl sex are great ways to avoid deadlines to be sure, but their initial meeting boils down to opposing views on wolves as living creatures. Interesting foreplay, sure, but do we buy it? We do not.

Before you know it, we’re smack-dab in the middle of actual filmed sex acts and, gulp, a real-life birth (it’s a close-up, by the way) which is, like, we know—the beautiful miracle of life and all that; just be aware you will observe a woman shit if you see this film. The rest relies on the subsequent troubles Léo faces for his procrastination, and while Staying Vertical is not boring per se—more tedious—it is the kind of slow-moving tripe that may only impress young film school students looking to round out their “I’ve seen foreign films!” cred.

For the rest of us, however, we’re left with a lot of scenes lacking dialog, numerous sun-bleached shots of sad-eyed French folk and, perhaps most egregiously, the misinformation that this was somehow supposed to be a comedy. We know Americans can err toward the low-brow, and maybe we just watched this thing wrong, but when one inevitably asks themselves why they bothered to direct their eyeballs at such a film, Staying Vertical seems to answer back: “We don’t know, either.”


+ You saw a French Film

- Basically everything else

Staying Vertical
Directed by Guiraudie
With Bonnard and Hair
Jean Cocteau Cinema
98 min.


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