Métamorphoses (original title)
1h 42min | Fantasy | 3 September 2014 (France)
A girl is approached by a strange boy outside her high school. He asks her to follow him to hear stories where gods fall in love with human beings.
Seen by your reviewer at the 2014 London Film Festival, ‘Métamorphoses’ transplants Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ to modern-day, working-class France (for those unfamiliar with Ovid – I’m not sure I’d ever heard of him – he was a poet from ancient Rome). A group of Roman deities wander the countryside meddling in human affairs – meddling that generally involves nudity and livestock.
I can’t make up my mind whether or not I like this film; I will say it was engrossing. Despite the ‘flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks’ structure, writer/director Christophe Honoré manages to keep the storyline, such as it is, flowing neatly and the viewer does not get confused about where he is in the narrative.
Little of the nudity is particularly attractive; unfortunately Honoré has gone for people with natural, rather than film star (or indeed classical god-like), bodies! But my main concern is the treatment of the many animals in the film: a cow simply standing tethered in a field is one thing, but in the scene where a lion and lioness are trapped in a room and the lioness begins to attack the lion, one wonders whether that was spontaneous action or was she trained to do it – and if so, was anyone concerned for the animals’ welfare?
Director: Christophe Honoré
Writers: Christophe Honoré (screenplay), Ovid (book)
Stars: Amira Akili, Sébastien Hirel, Mélodie Richard
Release Date: 3 September 2014 (France)
Also Known As: Metamorfoses