Louise by the Shore

Veteran French animator Jean-François Laguionie's latest centres on a septuagenarian who finds herself abandoned in an off-season holiday resort

Film Review by Rachel Bowles | 19 Feb 2017
  • Louise By The Shore
Film title: Louise by the Shore
Director: Jean-François Laguionie
Starring: Diane Dassigny, Dominique Frot, Anthony Hicklng

The eponymous Louise of Louise by the Shore is a septuagenarian, much like writer-director-animator Jean-François Laguionie. Both are quietly working away, achieving the remarkable without much recognition from society.

The film follows Louise, who misses the last train of the season out of Biligen-sur-mer and finds herself left stranded in the completely abandoned holiday town. With little trepidation, she faces the tempestuous storm flooding the town, builds herself a shelter and starts growing her own food. By night, her dreams take her back to adolescence, when she was evacuated to Biligen to escape the war. Her physical chores allow for her mind to become absorbed in reverie. She grows more confident in her newfound strength and starts to forget who she was outside of Biligen, past and present.

An undercurrent of dark magical realism underscores Laguionie’s film, occasionally bursting through what is otherwise a laborious, peaceful existence for Louise. Her genial acceptance of existential and corporeal horror is both disturbing and comforting. A strange little film, its seeming slightness made up for by its ability to haunt the viewer long after the credits roll. 

Louise by the Shore screens at Glasgow Film Festival: 19 Feb, CCA, 8.45pm | 20 Feb, CCA, 3.15pm

Read more about Glasgow Film Festival in The CineSkinny – in print at Glasgow Film Festival venues and online at theskinny.co.uk/film/cineskinny

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