Le Refuge

Overview

A woman flees to the sea after her lover dies of a sudden drug overdose in this intimate drama from director François Ozon. Parisian couple Mousse Isabelle Carré and Louis Melvil Poupaud are gorgeous, wealthy, and deeply in love. They share a fashionable apartment in a popular part of the city, but their charmed lives come crashing down all around them when, one morning, Louis' mother arrives at the apartment to find her son dead of an overdose, and his girlfriend lying unconscious nearby. When Mousse discovers ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Subtitled)
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Overview

A woman flees to the sea after her lover dies of a sudden drug overdose in this intimate drama from director François Ozon. Parisian couple Mousse Isabelle Carré and Louis Melvil Poupaud are gorgeous, wealthy, and deeply in love. They share a fashionable apartment in a popular part of the city, but their charmed lives come crashing down all around them when, one morning, Louis' mother arrives at the apartment to find her son dead of an overdose, and his girlfriend lying unconscious nearby. When Mousse discovers that she is pregnant with Louis' child, she retreats to a country house by the sea, where she makes the decision to keep the baby. Later, Louis' brother Paul Louis-Ronan Choisy arrives at the remote house, entering into a tentative relationship with the fragile Mousse as she ponders an uncertain future without the love of her life.
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Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; Original music video by Louis-Ronan Choisy; Other Strand Releasing trailers
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Back in the 1980s, the late Michael Powell 1905-1990 expressed the wish that he could have made a silent film -- a movie that would be pure cinema, purely visual, with no dialogue needed to tell its story or express the emotional lives of its characters. Powell got close to this goal with parts of Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, and The Tales of Hoffmann, but never quite achieved it with an entire movie. François Ozon's drama Hideaway original French title Le Refuge, however, seems to be precisely what Powell was aiming for -- a story so perfectly told with visuals that subtitles are virtually unnecessary for the English-speaking audience and, indeed, the makers could just as easily have lost the audio track without diminishing the movie's expressiveness or impact. The director's efforts to achieve a naturalistic feel -- to the structure, the shooting, and the performances using the highly talented Isabelle Carré, who was pregnant at the time, in the role of a drug-dependent expectant mother -- have paid off onscreen with a beguiling, spellbindingly low-key drama that, for all of its harrowing moments, is a wonder to behold and a delight to watch. The film's opening sequence, depicting the tragic end to a romance between Mousse Carré and Louis Melvil Poupaud over the use of contaminated drugs, is fairly harrowing in its realism. But once the audience has passed that threshold, it's as though the whole emotional life of the survivor is waiting to be thrown open to us. It is her contact with Louis' brother Paul Louis-Ronan Choisy, who is emotionally detached from his sibling and also gay, that opens the film and the character up, in a manner so quietly realistic that one forgets it's a screenplay we're watching play out. Carré evokes echoes of a young Isabelle Huppert at her best, while Choisy, who is primarily a singer, is what they used to call in Hollywood a "natural." And with some help from Pierre Louis-Calixte in a key supporting role, these players light up the screen for a quietly dazzling 88 minutes, exploring the emotional content of motherhood and parenthood from several angles, some of them generational there's a twist in the middle that we won't reveal here, which seems to say something about Louis' self-destructive quality and its roots. Le Refuge is also another strong case for the vitality that foreign filmmaking brings to the United States marketplace though there are sadly ever-fewer places to see such movies in theaters outside of the larger U.S. cities. It's a story that would have had a difficult time getting made in America, except perhaps for one of the cable channels, without a much more high-profile cast or someone dedicated to excellence behind it. But it also has technical virtues that allow it to transcend anything made in the States for cable; even shot in France, where it is obviously still possible to make theatrical films of this sort, Ozon had to rely on high-definition video rather than 35 mm, and work with a reduced crew, which precluded any elaborate tracking shots or camera setups. The results are still impressive, though -- the shooting in very low light makes for some gorgeous images, seductive in their own right. And the movie, incidentally, is in a true widescreen aspect ratio 2.35:1, equal to Panavision that fairly leaps off the screen, and yet doesn't conflict with the intimacy of the drama.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/8/2011
  • UPC: 712267300020
  • Original Release: 2009
  • Rating:

  • Source: Strand Home Video
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 64,389

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Isabelle Carré Mousse
Louis-Ronan Choisy Paul
Pierre Louis-Calixte Serge
Melvil Poupaud Louis
Claire Vernet The Mother
Jean-Pierre Andréani The Father
Marie Rivière The Woman on the Beach
Jérôme Kircher The Doctor
Nicolas Moreau The Seducer
Emile Berling The Drug Dealer
Maurice Antoni The Priest
Technical Credits
François Ozon Director, Screenwriter
Francoise Andréjka Makeup
Chris Bolzli Producer
Muriel Breton Editor
Pascaline Chavanne Costumes/Costume Designer
Louis-Ronan Choisy Score Composer
Sofica Coficup Co-producer
Philippe Delest Production Manager
Arnaud Esterez Asst. Director
Benoit Gargonne Sound Editor
Mathieu Hippeau Screenwriter
Jean-Paul Hurier Sound Mixer
Sylvain Monod Production Manager
Claudie Ossard Producer
Mathias Raaflaub Cinematographer
Brigitte Taillandier Sound/Sound Designer
Sarah Teper Casting
Katia Wyszkop Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hideaway
1. Flying High [9:03]
2. AN Overdose [7:54]
3. No Descendants, Please [6:44]
4. Keeping the Baby [9:42]
5. Radiating Happiness [5:52]
6. "Come Join Me" [8:58]
7. An Amazing Ocean View [7:44]
8. Mystery [9:23]
9. One Day Affair [8:40]
10. Empty House [5:01]
11. A Beautiful Girl [6:35]
12. Credits [2:27]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Hideaway
   Play Feature
   Chapters
   Bonus Features
      Original Theatrical Trailer
      Original Music Video By Louis Ronan-Choisy
   Other Strand Releasing Trailers
      Time to Leave
      The Girl On the Train
      Bluebird
      A Secret
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