By Will Ashton | email@example.com| @thewillofash
With that, the Athens International Film + Video Festival comes to an end. It was a dynamic week of ups-and-downs, and that can be said for the last film that I saw this week.
It’s All So Quiet | Directed by Nanouk Leopold| Not Rated
If there is one thing that I can say about Nanouk Leopold’s It’s All So Quiet, it’s that it lives up to its title.
Filmed with a grounded, minimalistic mentality, Leopold’s film is all about the little details. Whether it is the emotions hidden in one’s eyes, or the mundane burdens we go through in our daily existence, everything is filmed with an ear close to the ground, and an eye always watching for the authenticity to whisper (not shout) into the viewer’s attention.
That said, however, It’s All So Quiet is a slow-burn of a movie, and I like slow-burn movies. For, as much fascinating detail is paid attention to character, Leopold can’t help but make the film drag due to a lack of swift pacing. Don’t go expecting any high-speed car chases, and don’t go watching this movie after a busy day, if you know what I mean.
But, even through its duller moments, the movie is always at the height of its potential dramatic tension thanks to the commanding yet subtle lead performances from the late Jeroen Willems and Henri Garcin. They quietly (how appropriate) take the viewer’s attention through their remorseful looks of doubt and self-conflict. Even when dry, the film always has a command of the audience’s attention.
In studying the lack of emotional physicality and the hidden emotions of the burdened middle-aged man, Leopold’s movie has a lot to say in small doses. It’s a movie that may not immediately and permanently win you over. But once it grabs you, it’s hard not to be swept away in its silent beauty.