Schanelec can't come up with anything to fill the compositions other than banal encounters.

Once again, it’s her regular d.p. who’s the class act in Angela Schanelec’s latest ode to emotional dislocation, “Orly.” German helmer’s first widescreen pic features eye-catching use of the titular French airport’s horizontal space, luminously lensed in 35mm by Reinhold Vorschneider. More’s the pity that Schanelec can’t come up with anything to fill the compositions other than banal encounters and conversations, capped by a manufactured ending. Indulgent fests and Euro pubcasters are the pic’s only outlets.

With a warmer emotional temperature thanks to its predominantly French cast, the pic begins promisingly as Juliette (Natacha Regnier), who lives in Montreal, chats with Vincent (Bruno Todeschini), who’s returning to San Francisco. However, the focus soon shifts to far less interesting, emotionally closed types: a mother (Mireille Perrier) and her young gay son (Emile Berling) en route to a funeral; two Germans (Jirka Zett, Lina Phyllis Falkner) going on holiday; a woman (Maren Eggert) who’s just left her man (Josse de Pauw); and (for no apparent reason) a check-in clerk. Unoriginal idea of capturing people’s lives in the nowhereland of a departure hall becomes as tedious as actually waiting in one.

Orly

Germany-France

Production

A Ringel Filmproduktion, Nachmittagfilm (Germany)/La Vie Est Belle (France) production, in association with ZDF/3sat. (International sales: Films Boutique, Berlin.) Produced by Gian-Piero Ringel, Angela Schanelec. Co-producers, Celine Magis, Christophe Delsaux. Directed, written by Angela Schanelec.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Reinhold Vorschneider; editor, Mathilde Bonnefoy; art director, Sidney Duboi. Reviewed at Arsenal 1, Berlin, Jan. 29, 2010. (In Berlin Film Festival -- Forum.) French, German, English dialogue. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Natacha Regnier, Bruno Todeschini, Mireille Perrier, Emile Berling, Jirka Zett, Lina Phyllis Falkner, Maren Eggert, Josse de Pauw.

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