The First, the Last (2016) Poster

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9/10
Belgian Noir
BNester12 July 2016
The First, the Last is a Belgian film noir in which all the characters are seedy lowlifes. A moron couple are on the run, but also searching for a child they seem to know little about. Two tough older losers are being paid by a gangster to find a missing cellphone. The two pairs interact with each other and with another gang of local thugs.

Why should we care? Because each of the main characters has a distinct and interesting personality which is revealed through their dialogue and reactions. And because the film is full of quirky insights and unexpected sidetracks. And because the characters change and grow as the film progresses.

The photography is outstanding: Belgium is shown as unrelentingly gloomy, grey, rainy, flat, dirty, squalid... and that's in the daytime shots.

There are two unexpected cameo appearances by veteran Swedish actor Max von Sydow and by Jesus, both speaking French!

There are a few loose ends in the film. For example, at one point one of the cellphone hunters is hosted by a local woman and her daughter. A large wounded deer collapses in front of her house. (We never find out who shot the deer.) Although the women have a shotgun, they give it to their guest and insist that he put the animal out of its misery. Once killed, they load it onto the man's pickup truck. Why don't they eat it? Nobody in this film has much money.

As is inevitable these day, some of the takes run on too long. But the viewer is seldom bored.
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10/10
Touching tale of two endearingly dimwitted souls on a personal quest
carlstep29 November 2016
This tale captivates with its photography from its first frame. It tells of two less than average intelligence people in their twenties who find each other and set out on a quest to see the woman's estranged daughter. They cross paths with two crusty, experienced bounty hunters who are involved in their own bizarre adventure. The interaction between these four characters is funny, strange, and uplifting as they weave their way through various challenging situations. The prime value of the film is in the acting of the characters who make you love them no matter how unusual their actions might seem. This is a film not to be forgotten because of its dramatic visual images, its dialogue, and the sensitive acting that creates great sympathy for those who struggle to accomplish what they believe to be necessary using their diminished intelligence to the best of their abilities.
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10/10
Feel Jarmusch's spirit
dimpap-3280928 September 2017
If you like Jarmusch you will love this film. Excellent plans - photography at the county side. Old bridges and factories, forests and long roads. Characters out of limits with strange interests. Huge local villagers, "killers", a lunatic couple and Jesus himself! You can find and a connection with Jim's "lovers" by the motel owner. Keeps interest from the start till the end. Film noir, road movie, black influence,perfect result.
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