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LA Film Fest Review: The Year After

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A man sitting to my left exited the theater at about the one hour mark, never to return. Were I not obligated to give the film a fair and complete review, I might have joined him.

Rare is the movie that prompts that reaction in me (think Johnny Be Good) but The Year After was so interminably dull that I actually considered it.

The film follows 17 year-old Manu (Anaïs Demoustier) in the year following her father's death. Her life goes on--she makes a new friend, is cast in a play--but an almost permanent ennui infects her.

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Unfortunately, she conveys that ennui all too well as it began to infect me after only half an hour. Demoustier has been directed to a lifeless performance, and that's a huge problem considering she's in virtually every scene of the movie.

Literally, at least 20 minutes of the film consists of her doing nothing more than staring silently and emptily into space as she wanders through her daily existence. I don't doubt that this is an accurate portrayal of what a teenage girl might go through following the death of a parent, but it isn't particularly compelling to watch.