"Home" modestly observes a rural French's family's stubborn bid to stay put as high-speed life -- in the form of a new expressway -- paves the path to eventual displacement.
A road movie sans travel, “Home” modestly observes a rural French’s family’s stubborn bid to stay put as high-speed life — in the form of a new expressway — paves the path to eventual displacement. Typically sharp work by d.p. Agnes Godard and lead thesp Isabelle Huppert lends momentum to a drama whose static stretches and non-nouveau take on the threat of modernity could limit migration beyond presold Euro turf.
The relatively calm matriarch of a five-member bohemian clan, Huppert’s Marthe bums cigs from serially sunbathing, death-metal-blasting eldest daughter Judith (Adelaide Leroux), whose lounge chair sits only few yards from buzz-killing Route E57. Younger kids and stressed-out service-worker dad (Olivier Gourmet) deal with paradise lost according to age and gender, while Marthe devolves from a “c’est la vie” demeanor to the kind of hyper-emotional freakout that too often afflicts Gallic-cinema femmes. Still, director Ursula Meier generally distinguishes her feature debut by not pushing elements to melodramatic or farcical extremes. The requisite traffic-jam incident finds Godard cleverly tipping her lens to namesake Jean-Luc (“Weekend”), while a gradual depletion of natural light from the frame serves the pic’s aptly darkening view of progress.