Review: ‘Nuit #1’

A one-night stand evolves into an all-night talkathon in "Nuit #1," a claustrophobically intense drama set almost entirely within a shabby apartment where two strangers disrobe to enjoy an uninhibited sexual romp, but don't begin to bare their souls until they put their clothes back on.

A one-night stand evolves into an all-night talkathon in “Nuit #1,” a claustrophobically intense drama set almost entirely within a shabby apartment where two strangers disrobe to enjoy an uninhibited sexual romp, but don’t begin to bare their souls until they put their clothes back on. Explicit nudity and softcore activity during the opening minutes doubtless will elevate the pic’s notoriety quotient. But impressive performances by well-cast, attractive leads will help even more in gaining fest exposure and limited theatrical play for Montreal-based filmmaker Anne Emond’s debut feature.

After connecting at a steamy rave, Clara (Catherine Le Lean) and Nikolai (Dimitri Storoge) retreat to his place for a close encounter. But when he interrupts her stealthy postcoital exit, they take tentative first steps toward a different level of intimacy. Storoge and Le Lean command attention while conveying a diverse and constantly shifting array of emotions. And while it occasionally seems that Emond has assigned them monologues rather than dialogue, their interaction — both verbal and physical — is credibly charged with alternating currents of fear and desire, cynicism and longing. Mathieu Laverdiere’s fluid lensing is the standout tech value.

Nuit #1

Canada

Production

A K Films Amerique release of a Metafilms production. (International sales: Metafilms, Montreal.) Produced by Nancy Grant. Directed, written by Anne Emond.

Crew

Camera (color), Mathieu Laverdiere; editor, Mathieu Bouchard-Malo; music, Martin M. Tetrault; production designer, Eric Barbeau; costume designer, Yola Van Leeuwenkamp. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Canada First!), Sept. 13, 2011. (Also in Busan Film Festival -- Flash Forward.) Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Catherine Le Lean, Dimitri Storoge. (French dialogue)

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