Connect with us


Home | Review

Life in the Fast Lane: Directorial debut bites Asphalt

On paper, the premise sounds promisingly absurd, but in its design, five minutes with this family is about all one can handle. Work-shopped at Cannes’ Atelier program, Ursula Meier’s feature length debut proposes that one’s residence is ultimately what you make out of it, but more unclear than the motivations behind such a picture, is the bizarre lack of narrative and messy tonality that asks viewers to take everything at face value while presenting them with a set of parents who appear normal but act illogically. Home simply doesn’t know what it wants to be – a comedy, a drama, an allegory or a commentary, and it sends its players into a complete train-wreck, or in this case, one of those ugly highway accidents that they used to show in high school driving ed classes.

Isabelle Huppert lends her name, puts in a fake tear on command and plays the matriarch of three children varying in ages who basically worries that her children will become road kill, while Oliver Gourmet the bread winner of the family, is a couple of weeks away from a complete meltdown. The narrative fastens this cast of five to this one location, a family home mysteriously isolated from what almost looks like an abandoned piece of race track. Just like how train tracks represented prosperity in Once Upon a Time in the West, the co-penned screenplay from Meier, Antoine Jaccoud, Raphaëlle Valbrune, Gilles Taurand and Olivier Lorelle equate the construction of a major new highway as the annihilation of the family unit. Noise pollution and ‘anticipation syndrome’ waiting for cars to pass by in the same way the Chinese tortured people with a droplet of water help in fracturing the family unit.

Like a tortoise taking a step back into its protective shell, the principle allegory here is that the outside world is perhaps more hazardous today than nuclear threat of the 50’s. Despite the team of screenwriters, there is an apparent lack of purpose to the screenplay. Filling the plot voids with flaky, insincere, phony family moments, Home receives an ample serving of jazzed up sequences where people get thrown into the tubs, or husbands and wives having a breakdown only to be quickly appeased seconds later. Meier doesn’t know how to skillfully dramatize the picture and when it launches itself into comical territory, it is rendered with an artificiality that adds nothing to the discussion. If the children characters a weighed down by boredom, it isn’t difficult to imagine how future audiences might emulate that same dissatisfaction.

Rating 0 stars

Continue Reading
You may also like...

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

Click to comment

More in Reviews

To Top