Hideaway (Le refuge) ~ (France, 2009) ~ Netflix stream

François Ozon (Swimming Pool) wrote and directed this nicely paced (admittedly a slow go, which will turn off many) and visually appealing film. The narrative arc is a bit of a stretch for me, but if you can buy into it, you’re good to go. It’s actually a family film. No, not THAT kind of family. It also takes as its subject maternal instincts, and turns that on its head.

Mousse and Louis are druggies, and after a score, they both OD. Paul dies. Mousse survives and it’s discovered that she’s pregnant. The mother strongly suggests that Mousse abort the pregnancy and suggests that their family doctor can perform the procedure. Mousse agrees, but then flees to a sea-side hideaway near the coast of Spain. Soon Louis’ brother joins her there on his way to Spain. Turns out that Paul is gay and was adopted by Louis’ family, so he’s doubly an outsider. Even though Paul is gay, he has a sensual attraction for Mousse and they end up sleeping together. Ozon takes the film as an occassion to celebrate the beauty of pregnancy. Mousse goes to the beach pregnant in her bikini, and Paul rubs sun-block cream on her belly. There is even a pick-up at a cafe by a guy who has a thing for  pregnant women.

The film feels unfinished, and unconstructed, but the ambiguity of the relationship between Mousse and Paul allows for a somewhat unexpected ending.

 

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