Venice Film Review: ‘Only the Animals’

  • Variety
Venice Film Review: ‘Only the Animals’
French New Wave director and noted aficionado of non-linear storytelling Jean-Luc Godard was famously quoted as saying, “I agree that a film should have a beginning, a middle and an end but not necessarily in that order.” The sheer number of good nonlinear films, where the events of the story are not shown in chronological order, has confirmed the validity of that notion. But the conceit needs to serve some purpose: advance a theme (2004’s “Crash”), add layers of mystery (“Memento”) or, admittedly on occasion, just be damn cool (“Pulp Fiction”).

In director Dominik Moll’s engrossing nonlinear thriller “Only the Animals,” the story jumps back and forth for all three of the above reasons. On its snowy surface, the movie is about five people who knowingly or unknowing play a role in the death of a woman in southern France. The film, which opened the Venice Days section of the 2019 Venice film festival,
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