Intimate portrait of a woman drifting between reality and denial when she is left alone to grapple with the consequences of her husband's imprisonment.
Charlotte Rampling (Hannah), André Wilms (Hannah's Husband), Stéphanie Van Vyve (Elaine), Simon Bisschop (Nicholas, Hannah's Son), Jessica Fanhan (Subway Fighting Woman), Fatou Traoré (Theater Teacher), Jean-Michel Balthazar (Chris), Gaspard Savini (Charlie), Julien Vargas (Michael), Luca Avallone (Albert), Miriam Fauci (Sophie), Ambra Mattioli (Singer), Mathilde Rault (Receptionist), Thomas Demarez (Classmate), Andrea Mirisola (Crossdressing Man), Aymeric Bolé (A machinist)
Dario Cioni (line producer), Miriam Del Prete (associate producer), Christina Dow (executive producer), Clément Duboin (producer), John Engel (producer), Alon Knoll (associate producer), Dominique Marzotto (associate producer), Andrea Stucovitz (producer), Gregory Zalcman (associate producer)
"Hannah" (2017 release from Italy; 95 min.) brings the story of Hannah, an elderly lady. As the movie opens, we see Hannah and her husband go about their daily routine, and then it becomes clear that something is up, before we know it, Hannah's husband is getting ready to be dropped off at a prison. What is going on here? At this point we're less than 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from Italian director Andrea Pallaoro, who previously gave us the equally excellent "Medeas". Here Pallaoro goes one better yet, and looks at how an elderly woman deals with the consequences of her long-time husband going to prison. The first issue is of course, what did the husband don exactly? The answer is given in subtle hints at various points in the movie, but one might even argue that it isn't all that relevant, as indeed the focus is on Hannah. She tries to make the best of a terrible situation, and continues to provide support to her husband. When she goes to visit him in prison, she musters a smile when he appears, to which he snarls "Why are you laughing?". Just chilling. And what to say about this extraordinary performance (yet again) by Charlotte Rampling? As she continues to age gracefully (she is now in her early 70s), she continues to find (or be offered) roles that are challenging and rewarding (check out also 2015's $5 Years, and this year's Red Sparrow).
"Hannah" premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival to immediate critical acclaim (Rampling won the Best Actress award). I happen to catch this during a recent family visit to Belgium. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at in Antwerp, Belgium was attended quite nicely, somewhat to my surprise, given that this is not the most joyful of films. If you are in the mood for a great character study of an elderly woman dealing with difficult issues, I'd readily suggest you check this out. It's doubtful at this point that this will get a US theatrical release, so look for it on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
The Whale ((working title)) • Hannah (Spain; Poland)
Partner Media Investment, Left Field Ventures, Good Fortune Films, Rai Cinema (in collaboration with), To Be Continued (in collaboration with), Solo Five Productions (in collaboration with), Lorand Entertainment (in collaboration with), Take Five (in collaboration with), TF1 Studio (in collaboration with), Jour2Fête (in collaboration with), Ministero dei Beni e delle Attivita Culturali e del Turismo (MiBACT) (support), Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l'Europe (support), Regione Lazio (support), Roma Lazio Film Commission (support), Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (support), Casa Kafka Pictures Movie Tax Shelter Empowered by Belfius (support)
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