Monday, 14 February 2011

But secretly you'd love to know what it's like, wouldn't you? What it feels like for a girl?

The Cement Garden (1993)
Chosen by Ian Love who had this to say about it: 'a dark tale of family grief which takes a turn for the worse or a touching love story which ever way you wish to view it! Charlotte Gainsbourg is stunning in one of her very early roles and this movie always leaves me shocked and heartbroken all at the same time!!! enjoy Dave :)'

Hmm, enjoy is probably not the word I would use.
As bleak and featureless as the house you can see above, The Cement Garden exists in a world of emptiness and is mostly a sad, powerful treatment of nihilistic living and sexual awakening (it's not quite subtle at times, the son masturbating as his father dies unseen in the garden is perhaps a little too on the nose).
There is a strange passivity to the relationship between Gainsbourg (superb in this) and Robertson (also good) which works better here than in the film I am 'reviewing' for tomorrow (I feel a rant coming on about romance in films but that have been tempered by the time I come to write it up) Never Let Me Go. A deliberate lack that works in it's favour creating an unusual, interesting (i wish we could have had more from the younger daughter, whose reaction to her mother's death is fascinating) tone but one hard to casually recommend.


  1. Dave, did you ever see the Virgin Suicides? I'm wondering if this is in a similar vein.

  2. I did and wasn't hugely keen on it. That has a much more forced dream like state about it. this is more raw.

  3. The book was better than the film. I might have to catch this.