Under the deluge of re-makes and sequels everyday dramas like Looking for Hortense are something of a rarity in UK cinemas.
The French language film set in Paris is actually billed somewhat misleadingly as a comedy. There are a few light-hearted moments, but if the Alpha Papa screening is full, don’t go to this expecting the same level of laughs.
Get over this obvious error, and Looking for Hortense is a fairly intelligent film with notable performances from leading man Jean-Pierre Bacr as Damien, and his adolescent son (played by Marin Orcand Tourrès).
To begin with the focus is on Eva, his wife (played by Kristin Scott Thomas). She asks Damien to ask his Father to ‘put a word in’ to stop an illegal immigrant from being deported. His Father, a senior judge (with bisexual tendencies) has little time for his son and Damien is caught between a rack and a hard place in his mission.
The story follows Damien dealing with a failed marriage, strained friendships and opportunities for new beginnings. Co-incidence comes into play and while the plot doesn’t quite have enough bite to completely pull you in, as a non-action drama it’s well acted enough to keep you watching and interested in the conclusion. Kristin Scott-Thomas’s character is underused though and could have quite easily been the axis for the story. Instead she is left hanging somewhat in the wings.
They used to show films like this late at night on Channel4 in the days before Big Brother, but they’re now glaring missing from any sort of UK broadcasting schedule. Hopefully there will be more to follow.
Looking for Hortense is out now.