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Movie Review: Strayed

Alternate Title: Adrift

Story: Woulda, coulda, shoulda -- is pretty much what I thought when exiting the theater. This French film is about a young mother, her 13 year old son and 7 year old daughter as they flee their home in Paris along with the throngs who sought refuge after the German bombing in 1940. They hook up with a 17 year old young man with a seemingly shady past but who ends up providing them with food and shelter. The film was directed by Andre Techine based on the novel The Boy With the Grey Eyes by Gilles Taurand.

The film 'woulda' been better had I given two hoots about the characters. It 'coulda' been better had the scenes been less like vignettes. I had the feeling lots of good dialogue ended up on the cutting room floor or was lost in translation (oops, that's another film, isn't it)? And finally, with a storyline about how a family copes with survival during wartime while attempting to maintain civility, structure and the pretenses of family life just 'shoulda' been a lot better.

This film fell like a disappointing souffle.

Acting: The immensely popular French actress Emmanuelle Beart (La Bouche, Eight Women) was adequate but lacked that special quality that enables the viewer to care about her character. I also had a hard time not staring at her Botox lips. They sometimes entered a room way before she did. Gaspard Ulliel as the 17 year old was very capable as the feral teen.

Predilection: None.

Critters: Many of the critters also end up in the food category. Chickens, rabbits, horses, cats and a frog.

Food: Chicken, rabbit, jam and wine. The French always seem to be able to provide quite a nice table -- even during war time.

Visual Art: Some vintage photos.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Theater Audience: A handful of people but being New York City there were a few arguments at the beginning of the film. One young man got out of his seat to confront an elderly couple about their talking and another man was yelling in the back at a noisy eater. It is always something.

Predictability Level: Sadly, I did not care what happened to anyone.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: This film needed an injection of heart and compassion.

Big Screen or Rental: Neither.

Length: Under two hours.