Trouble Every Day (France/Germany/Japan; 100min.)

directed by: Claire Denis
starring: Vincent Gallo; Tricia Vessey; Béatrice Dalle; Alex Descas
Trouble Every Day
Emily says: "Having heard Claire Denis' new film was a disappointment after BEAU TRAVAIL (a favorite of mine), I was lucky enough to disregard these reviews and catch it during the Boston Women's Film festival - thanks be, I loved this movie! Reminiscent of the feel and grit of such 70's classic thrillers as DON'T LOOK NOW, this film is rich in characters, mood, and the truly eerie...Casting Béatrice Dalle, the memorable star of BETTY BLUE, and the always challenging Vincent Gallo as a pair of (fatally) dedicated plant biologists who have fallen victim to their self-inflicted experimentation, the film explores the only slightly veiled subject of relationship dynamics: desire, sexuality, love, purity and destruction. The story's slow unfolding intensity is heightened by innovative cinematography in the style of something I could only call neo- noir (with splashes of vibrant color added here and there for effect). The rawness of this film has to be its most powerful appeal, and it is truly unrelenting in this aspect of its storytelling. Not for the faint of heart, the dark side of this film despite some graphic scenes, achieves a real balance of suggestion and revelation, and the truth of its character's struggles with their inner torment rings true at many levels of the films story, both vampiric and desirous."
Laura says: "TROUBLE EVERY DAY does have a standout and that's Agnes Godard's cinematography. Her lighting and framing produce beautiful images - Leo digging in tall weeds, lit in the reddish glow of a car's headlights - Shane's gaze at his wife's nude body in the bath. Original music by Tindersticks underscores the doomed romantic tone." 1 1/2 cats
For Laura's complete review: ""
Michael says: "I finally got to see Claire Denis' latest American release, TROUBLE EVERY DAY. Unfortunately, while thought-provoking with occasional glimpses of the genius she exhibited in her last feature, BEAU TRAVAIL, TROUBLE EVERY DAY is an ambitious failure for me.

"Shane is an American spending his honeymoon in Paris, with his sweet wife June. His ulterior motive for selecting such a romantic destionation quickly comes to light. He's seeking help for a potentially deadly malady which causes its victims' desire literally causes them to devour their sexual partners. Denis expresses some interesting ideas that post-viewing discussion made clearer for me, but the awkward editing of the film failed it from truly being realized.

"Another big flaw for me was the choice of Vincent Gallo (BUFFALO 66) as leading man Shane. As Laura and Robin both mentioned in their reviews, Gallo is just too weirdly creepy to be taken seriously as the object of anyone's reciprocal desire. And Chlotrudis Awards-winning cinematographer Agnes Godard shoots him in the most unflattering manner possible. Tricia Vessey is sweet and effective as June, and Béatrice Dalle adequately portrays a woman with an advanced case of this deadly malady. Godard's lighting and camerawork convey the despairing mood wonderfully.

"While I'm intrigued by the ideas behind the film, I'm disappointed that Denis was unable to fully translate them to the big screen." 2 1/2 cats
Nathaniel R. says: "French auteur Claire Denis works brilliantly with gifted cinematographer Agnes Godard and together they've made several beautiful and enormously successful mood films. TROUBLE EVERY DAY has the disadvantage of being the follow up to their masterpiece, BEAU TRAVAIL. It was bound to suffer in comparison but I didn't expect to not like it at all.

"There are brutal sexually motivated murders shown explicitly and lengthily in TROUBLE EVERY DAY. When approaching uncomfortable art films such as this from an intellectual perspective (and that's the perspective that such work usually requires) the first question is always 'what are they saying?' I had a vague notion with this film -but I can't say I entirely connected with it or 'got it.'

"I normally don't mind feeling uncomfortable or even awful watching films that circle or dive into misery like the entire oeuvre of Lars Von Trier, for example, or brutal stuff like REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. But the films have to give me something back aesthetically that makes that journey worthwhile. I also don't mind---I, in fact, relish the opportunity to actually think in a movie theater... but the question of 'what are the filmmakers saying?' eventually didn't matter much at all to me with this film.. The next question 'Why?' kept roaring at me from the back of the house. Why are they making these films? Why am I sitting here watching them? And when will this experience be over?"
Robin says: "At the very least I am disappointed in Denis's latest effort. Where BEAU TRAVAIL and its story were well-defined and precise - there is no question of who the antagonist/protagonist are - TROUBLE EVERY DAY is a confused tale that never anchors itself, mainly due to the obscurity of the story and a horrible performance by Vincent Gallo, who is thoroughly miscast as tortured Shane Brown. There is a story buried underneath the atmosphere, but shoddy editing, large gaps in the flow of the action (at one point Shanesurreptitiously observes his female counterpart, Cole (Beatrice Dalle), then, suddenly, he is in a death struggle with the woman), and the cloak of ambiguity all work against cohesive story telling." 1 1/2 cats
For Robin's complete review: ""
Scot says: "Michael's too nice. Though the idea that desire = ferocity isn't new, it could have been used effectively in a horror/sci-fi film like this one. But Denis stumbles so clumsily over both genres (including lengthy and unnecessary back-story, confusing surprise for suspense, putting her climax in the middle of the film) that this one loses any punch it could have had.

"I also liked the idea of a man who finds it impossible to separate violence and sex in his mind but tries anyway. (And goes so far as to marry a stranger who doesn't realize his problem.) But Vincent Gallo probably isn't the man to play him. Too creepy, right from the start.

"There was one scene of carnage that was skillfully assembled and playfully performed by Béatrice Dalle, but I agree with Michael that the film needed a masterful editor to turn the footage into more than a shallow shocker.

"Go rent THE HUNGER instead." 1 cat