A refreshing first feature from French director Lucie Borleteau, Fidelio: Alice’s Journey is a perceptive exploration of womanhood and infidelity, free of sensationalism or judgement.
Nominated for two César Awards, including Best Debut Feature, Fidelio tells the story of Alice (Ariane Labed) who joins the crew of the aptly named Fidelio replacing an engineer who has suddenly died. She soon encounters Gael, a former lover who is now the ship's captain. With her partner Felix left ashore, she and Gael rekindle their romance on board the ship, and the film follows her journey as she struggles to navigate her feelings for the two men – as well as life as the sole woman on board.
A stoical sense of detachment permeates the film, which was originally conceived by Borleteau as a documentary. Neither Alice, nor her lovers are demonised for the decisions they make; similarly, Alice’s experiences of sexism on board are explored but never sensationalised, developing into a work that feels both radical and refreshing.
Borleteau's decision to shoot the film about a real working ship adds to the film's documentary-like feel. Borleteau wanted the actors to experience the realities of life on board a freighter: 'to feel the heat, to smell the strong scent'. And this Borleteau certainly achieves, the confines of the ship’s engine creating a claustrophobic energy that suffuses the interactions amongst the crew.
Ariane Labed is natural and engaging as Alice, while the large cast of international actors add a warmth and dynamism to the languid pace of the script. Fidelio: Alice’s Journey is a perceptive film, which ponders the nature of love and longing without cliché.
Fidelio will be released in UK cinemas 2 October. Click here to watch the trailer.
|What||Fidelio: Alice's Journey, film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
02 Oct 15 – 30 Nov 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to go to Fidelio: Alice's Journey IMDB page|