Review: ‘Adrift’

Vincent Cassel stars in director Heitor

A 14-year-old girl on summer vacation makes discoveries about herself and her family in "Adrift."

A 14-year-old girl on summer vacation makes discoveries about herself and her family in “Adrift,” Heitor Dhalia’s attractively packaged ode to female adolescence that’s even hoarier than this summation. While excelling in the lensing and thesping departments, the helmer needs a story at least half as original as his earlier “Drained” to get back on track. Despite major flaws, the pic, produced by Fernando Meirelles’ 02 Filmes, should do boffo biz at home thanks to the stunning Lolita lead and name cast; Universal plans an autumn French release.

Novelist Mathias (Vincent Cassel, adept in Portuguese) takes the family to their beach house for the season. Tensions ignite with wife Clarice (Debora Bloch, strong), whose drinking and verbal digs expose marital dissatisfaction alongside inner turmoil. Daughter Filipa (newcomer Laura Neiva) spies Dad’s affair with vixenish Angela (Camilla Belle), adding to the teen’s standard hormonal chaos. Dhalia apparently sees no problem with Filipa losing her virginity to a twentysomething bartender (Caua Reymond), though auds may be uncomfortable with the obvious power discrepancy. Handsome visuals and a rich color palette provide real eye candy, but music is as derivative as the dialogue.




A Universal Pictures Brazil and Universal Pictures France release of an 02 Filmes, Focus Features Intl., Petrobras presentation of an 02 Filmes production. (International sales: Focus Features Intl., London.) Produced by Fernando Meirelles, Andrea Barata Ribeiro, Bel Berlinck. Directed, written by Heitor Dhalia. Screenplay collaborator, Vera Egito.


Camera (color), Ricardo della Rosa; editor, Gustavo Giani; music, Antonio Pinto; production designer, Guta Carvalho; costume designer, Alexandre Herchcovitch. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 21, 2009. Running time: 97 MIN.


Vincent Cassel, Debora Bloch, Camilla Belle, Laura Neiva, Caua Reymond.

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