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London Film Festival Review: Metamorphoses

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★☆☆☆☆

This patience-testing and pretentious piece of nonsense is a modern-day adaptation of Ovid’s narrative poem of the same name. It’s the latest film by Christophe Honoré, a director whose previous credits include the more mainstream-pitched musical Beloved, starring Catherine Deneuve. I can’t imagine that this will take nearly as much money, as its arthouse pretentions position it beyond any realms of any entertainment that could be regarded as fun.

I must stress I am not implying arthouse content can’t be enjoyable – in fact, I would prefer it if we got rid of any concepts of ‘arthouse’ and ‘mainstream’ altogether and to some extent I am guilty of allowing such a system to continue by dishing out such labels. But exist they currently do and I would be naive not to recognise that Métamorphoses certainly yearns to be part of the former. At times Honoré attempts to be playful with his lyrical and loose interpretation of Ovid’s impressive and intimidating range of stories and conundrums, but the result left me looking at my watch rather than marvelling at the skill involved in realising them as a big-screen project.

The widescreen cinematography is pleasing for five minutes but after that I was desperate to go and do something more exciting, like watching paint dry, than sit through something like this. It attempts to draw the viewer in through its weirdness, explicit sex and nudity and interpretations of the nature. I wasn’t drawn in. I was bored. And I wished the cast – who are generally unknown actors – would just go and put some clothes on and stop rolling around in the grass.

Métamorphoses (2014), directed by Christophe Honoré, is showing as part of the BFI London Film Festival on 9, 11 and 13 October. Tickets are available from whatson.bfi.org.uk. Watch the trailer below:

 

 




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