Vicky Krieps as the femme fatale in rural noir thriller “Gutland”
Photo: Les Films Fauves
During the Luxembourg City Film Festival, Delano will pick its film of the day. Today, Govinda Van Maele’s Luxembourg rural noir featuring local rising star Vicky Krieps.
The subject of critical acclaim on the international film festival circuit (it premiered at the Toronto festival last autumn), Govinda Van Maele’s “Gutland” is a strikingly confident feature film debut from the young Luxembourger. Van Maele has three short films and a documentary about the local alternative rock scene--the excellent “We Might As Well Fail”--under his belt. But “Gutland”, written with Razvan Radulescu, enhances the director’s reputation for good storytelling and his keen eye for terrific visuals--ably aided in this case by his brother Narayan’s cinematography.
Watch the trailer to “Gutland”
The film opens with a familiar scenario--a stranger (played by German actor Frederick Lau) arrives in village and is eyed with suspicion by the tight-knit community. But he slowly wins over the people of Schandelsmillen, lands a job, and is especially admired by the local women. In particular he strikes up a relationship with single mother Lucy (Vicky Krieps).
But things are not as they seem in Schandelsmillen, and as dark secrets emerges so the stranger becomes suspicious and the subject of suspicion. The intrigue takes twists and turns and is deliberately ambiguous as Van Maele ratchets up the tension. One particularly memorable scene that will remind audiences of Cary Grant in “North By Northwest”.
Lau has great screen presence and great screen chemistry with Krieps, who plays her role with natural charm and guile. Marco Lorenzini and the rest of the local cast also do the script credit. “Gutland” is a thoroughly captivating and entertaining thriller that will make a lasting impression on Luxembourg audiences in particular. It promises a bright future for its director.
“Gutland” is being screened at 8 p.m. at Kinepolis Kirchberg on Saturday 24 February and again at 9 p.m. at the Cinémathèque on Sunday 25 February.