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Hideaway (Le Refuge) (DVD Review)

2 Feb, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 2/8/11
Box Office $0.03 million
$27.99 DVD
Not rated.
In French with English subtitles.
Stars Isabelle Carré, Melvil Poupaud, Louis-Ronan Choisy.

Inspired by the pregnancy of a friend, director François Ozon uses a real-life expectant mother-actress to portray an atypical account of motherhood in Hideaway.

Mousse (Isabelle Carré) and her boyfriend, Louis (Melvil Poupaud), are madly in love, but their heroin-fueled relationship comes to an abrupt halt when they overdose. A doctor informs Mousse, upon emerging from a coma, that she’s pregnant and that Louis has died.

Louis’ emotionally vacant mother suggests that Mousse abort the child. She instead chooses to give it life and retreats to a beach house in Basque country, France. It becomes her refuge of sorts. Mousse is joined by Paul (French singer Louis-Ronan Choisy), Louis’ adopted, gay brother. She warms up to Paul as he opens up about his and Louis’ upbringing. The gentle companion supports and comforts Mousse, who comes to realize that her departed lover will live on through the baby.

Throughout the pregnancy, however, Mousse seems to have little connection with the life growing inside her. She takes steady doses of methadone syrup, often paired with beer, and parties at a loud night club, dancing provocatively with strange men, despite her obvious, rotund stomach showing. Mousse doesn’t even contemplate names for the baby, as she feels it isn’t “real” to her, and explodes when a woman admiring her belly offers her maternal words of wisdom.

Seeing an expectant mother in such an aloof state makes Hideaway engaging from start to finish. Mousse’s disengagement ultimately leads her to make an unexpected decision that alters her future, as well as the lives of the baby and Paul.

The bonus material includes a music video for an original song written and performed by Choisy and starring Carré, which further showcases the pair’s on-screen chemistry.

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