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DID YOU READ

“In Your Hands,” Reviewed

“In Your Hands,” Reviewed (photo)

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Reviewed at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

The steamier side of sympathizing with your captor gets showcased in “In Your Hands,” a guilty pleasure of a Gallic drama that’s the second feature from writer/director Lola Doillon (the daughter of filmmaker Jacques Doillon). Kristin Scott Thomas, demonstrating once again her ability to act just as dexterously in French as in English, plays the brittle Anna Cooper, an aloof surgeon who lives for her work, and lives alone in Paris. At the film’s outset, she’s hurriedly making her way back to her chic apartment, looking distressed and starting at the smallest sounds. Home, she plugs her drained phone in order to check her voice mail. She was abducted and held prisoner for days, but none of the messages — from her mother, from her boss at the hospital, from her married lover — are concerned or urgent. No one noticed she was meant to have come home from vacation days ago.

Anna, we see in a flashback that comprises the majority of the film, was kidnapped by Yann Ochberg (Pio Marmaï) — Frank Ochberg being the name of the psychiatrist who defined Stockholm syndrome — a good-looking wreck of a young man whose life fell apart after the death of his wife a few years ago. She died following a Cesarean section performed by Anna, who the court cleared of all fault, but on who Yann has placed all blame. The icy Anna never showed up to the hearing.

Yann has no plan in place. “I want to hurt you, but I don’t know how,” he tells his hostage, who he keeps locked in a small room whose one window has been bricked up, but he’s not a man capable of murder or premeditated violence. The power struggle between Yann and Anna is waged over small humiliations and small rebellions. Anna refuses to eat. Yann taunts her about her bedraggled state and how she looks in his old clothes. She ignores him, and he intrudes on whims to threaten her or tell her what she did to his life. But Yann is, more than anything else, crazily lonely, and Anna in her more intentional solitude (her ex husband has remarried and has three kids with someone else) is also vulnerable to the need for company. After an explosion of alcohol-fueled brutality, the pair reach a detente, and then something more amorous.

At a trim 80 minutes, “In Your Hands” skips along in staccato scenes, keeping the sense of time passing vague, but never lingering long enough to make either the progression of Yann and Anna’s relationship nor what happens once Anna is free very plausible. Still, the simmer between relative newcomer Marmaï and Thomas is formidable. Ochberg, a long-lashed, sad-eyed bundle of anger and neediness, can’t help but be ridiculously romanticized — like Anna, we want to read his occasional kindnesses as indicators of a good, if wounded, heart, and brush over his less forgivable actions as driven by sorrow and grief. While abrupt, “In Your Hands” does summon the giddy, logic-free airlessness of life immediately following a trauma, mainly through the strengths of its two talented leads.

“In Your Hands” (Contre Toi) does not currently have U.S. distribution.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…