Al­lure—Women in dis­tress

Montreal Times - - News -

is a Cana­dian movie di­rected and writ­ten by Car­los Sanchez and Ja­son Sanchez that could be clas­si­fied as a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller in which no one ends up well. In fact, ex­cept for the char­ac­ter of Eva (Ju­lia Sarah Stone) a 16-yearold tal­ented pi­anist, some­how naïve as many peo­ple could be at that age, it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to feel any em­pa­thy for the other char­ac­ters.

The main char­ac­ter, Laura (Evan Rachel Wood), works in her fa­ther's com­pany but also does some house­clean­ing, and on top of that, en­gages in pros­ti­tu­tion too. In­deed the first scene shows her in this facet of her many trades.

It is in her house­clean­ing job that Laura gets to meet Eva, the daugh­ter of Nancy (Maxim Roy) an over­whelm­ing mother who never seems sat­is­fied with Eva's per­for­mance. Even­tu­ally, the re­la­tion be­tween Eva and her mother gets very tense, just mo­ments be­fore Laura comes to do her clean­ing. Laura man­ages to com­fort the dis­tressed girl, but then what fol­lows is hard to de­ter­mine: is Laura merely tak­ing ad­van­tage of a vul­ner­a­ble young girl for her own sex­ual pur­poses, or is she gen­uinely about the

con­cerned girl wel­fare? The movie does lit­tle to re­solve this ques­tion. In fact, it ob­scures the sit­u­a­tion but not with the pur­pose of giv­ing the au­di­ence some un­pre­dictable twist, but rather be­cause of the many loose ends that es­caped to the at­ten­tion of the di­rec­tors-writ­ers. Wil­liam (De­nis O'Hare), Laura's fa­ther, for in­stance, is con­tra­dic­to­rily fea­tured as a pro­tec­tive fig­ure and as the per­pe­tra­tor of a ter­ri­ble act, with no clear im­pli­ca­tions for the char­ac­ters in­volved, more­over, with no ap­par­ent emo­tional con­se­quences, prob­a­bly be­cause of the less than con­vinc­ing act­ing by Evan Rachel Wood.

Some scenes are en­tirely un­jus­ti­fied, such as the one show­ing the young girl sink­ing in a swim­ming pool. Of course, these im­ages in the water project a sense of light­ness and re­moval from dis­tress and un­hap­pi­ness. They worked won­der­fully in Os­car-win­ner "The Shape of Water," from where the di­rec­tors seem to have taken the idea, in "Al­lure" in­stead it is a kind of gra­tu­itous re­course with no rel­e­vance to the story. Re­gard­ing the story it­self, there are also some im­plau­si­ble as­pects: how af­ter Eva's dis­ap­pear­ance the po­lice were in­com­pe­tent enough not to find her de­spite the girl be­ing vis­i­ble at su­per­mar­kets and other public places? Artis­tic li­cense I sup­pose. In sum, "Al­lure" is a film that fails at con­vey­ing its plot very clearly, the story is weak in dra­matic terms. Some of its char­ac­ters are in­suf­fi­ciently de­vel­oped, and the story is not "al­lur­ing" enough to move the au­di­ence. Rec­om­mend­able only to those who just want to spend some time watch­ing a for­get­table story.

The film con­tains few scenes of fe­male nu­dity, les­bian sex, and some peo­ple may feel un­com­fort­able with por­tray­als of an adult in a sex­ual sit­u­a­tion with an un­der­age girl.

"Al­lure" Was Laura (Evan RachelWood) tak­ing ad­van­tage of the

un­der­age Eva (Ju­lia Sarah Stone)?

Both char­ac­ters in "Al­lure" are in dis­tress, but the movie fails to de­liver

a cred­i­ble and ar­tic­u­lated story about them

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