Review: ‘2 Seconds’

A refreshingly light pic, "2 Seconds" is a reasonably engaging portrait of a mountain bike racer in the throes of a midlife crisis. The main attraction of this rather slim piece of filmmaking is a warm, appealing performance by seasoned Quebec thesp Charlotte Laurier.

A refreshingly light pic, “2 Seconds” is a reasonably engaging portrait of a mountain bike racer in the throes of a midlife crisis. The main attraction of this rather slim piece of filmmaking is a warm, appealing performance by seasoned Quebec thesp Charlotte Laurier. But this first feature from Montreal helmer Manon Briand, who directed one of the segments of last year’s “Cosmos,” is simply too slight to set itself apart from the indie pack and make much of a mark theatrically.

The title refers to the crucial moment of hesitation Laurie (Laurier) experiences at the start of a race atop a mountain in California when she begins to feel some insecurity about her age. She is unceremoniously fired from the mountain bike racing team after her poor finish. Confused and upset, Laurie heads home to Montreal, where she moves in with her nerdy, ultra-goofy brother, Steff (Yves Pelletier).

She takes her bike to an out-of-the-way repair shop run by a crusty old Italian named Lorenzo (Dino Tavarone), and, despite a testy first meeting, Laurie and Lorenzo become good pals thanks to their shared love of bike racing. It’s clear, too, that she admires his independent spirit. When she takes a day job as a bicycle courier, Laurie continually runs afoul of her boss because she tends to zoom off across the city and forget about her deliveries.

Briand does a good job of capturing the unique youth subculture surrounding the Gen-X bike-courier scene, but the central story about Laurie and Lorenzo’s unlikely friendship is much less convincing. The old crank with a heart of gold is too much of a stock character, and the dynamic between the two is further muddied by the choice of Tavarone for the role. He looks too young to play the curmudgeon, who is supposed to be at least a couple of decades older than Laurie.

It’s nice to see Laurier in a good lead role after too long an absence; she’s perfect as the frustrated racer who never loses her big, loopy grin. Pelletier provides some welcome laughs as the brother obsessed with finding a girlfriend, Einstein’s theory of relativity and coming up with a winning lottery number.

James Gray’s lensing captures the feel of zipping through the streets of downtown Montreal on a bike; there is no shortage of nifty visual flourishes here. Soundtrack is an appropriately cool urban mix of jazz and modern-rock sounds.

2 Seconds

Canadian

Production

A France Film release (in Canada) of a Max Films production, with the participation of the Cable Distribution Fund, Telefilm Canada, Sodec, Quebec Government, Canadian Government, and in association with Radio-Canada. (International sales: Alliance Independent Films, Toronto.) Produced by Roger Frappier. Directed, written by Manon Briand. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (competing), Sept. 1, 1998.

Crew

Camera (color), James Gray; editor, Richard Comeau; music, Sylvain-Charles Grand, Dominique Grand; art director, Pierre Allard; costume designer, Suzanne Harel; sound, Yvon Benoit, Martin Pinsonnault, Hans Peter Strobl, Louis Hone; assistant director, Maite Sarthou; casting, Lucie Robitaille. (Also at Toronto Film Festival -- Perspective Canada.) Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Laurie - Charlotte Laurier Lorenzo - Dino Tavarone Young Lorenzo - Jonathan Bolduc La Bella - Suzanne Clement Steff - Yves Pelletier Laurie's Mother - Louise Forestier
With: Andre Brassard, Pascal Auclair, France Galarneau, Jici Lauzon, Alexis Belec, Jude Antoine Jarda, Lorne Brass.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading