Review: ‘Elsewhere’

A quirky French indie based on co-scripter Laurent Graff's novel.

A shy and fastidious Gallic croupier dreams of going places while remaining firmly ensconced in his apartment in “Elsewhere,” a quirky French indie based on co-scripter Laurent Graff’s novel. Greatly aided by Nicolas Abraham’s solid, stone-faced perf as the wannabe-traveler protag, frosh helmer Frederic Pelle elicits a fair number of chuckles from the material, though the end result, even at just 80-odd minutes, remains rather slight. “Elsewhere” could be at home in fest sidebars.

Pic starts sometime in the past and progresses through the mostly static life of Patrick (Abraham), with intertitles that indicate the passage of time (“one year later,” etc.) becoming something of a running gag. In the opening scene, Patrick purchases a suitcase and then proceeds to plan the ultimate trip, buying the latest gadgets and learning the most exotic languages for years — all from the comfort of his own spartan dwelling. He’s not a total loner or weirdo, though; as befits a French pic, he has sex with several people, intercourse with one of them (Jade Phan-Gia) leading to an amusing coda. Craft contributions are in line with the film’s tiny budget.




A Zelig Distribution release of a Bianca Films presentation and production, in association with 7eme Apache Films. Produced by Pascal Lahmani. Directed by Frederic Pelle. Screenplay, Pelle, Laurent Graff, based on the novel "Voyage, Voyages" by Graff.


Camera (color), Olivier Banon; editor, Anne Riegel; music, Stale Caspersen; production designer, Stephane Esturoune; costume designer, Elisabeth Mehu, Orlanda Laforet. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Zabaltegi New Directors), Sept. 18, 2010. Running time: 83 MIN.


Nicolas Abraham, Jade Phan-Gia, Jean-François Gallotte, Anais Demoustier, Jean-Claude Lecas.
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