Domain

01/01/2009
  |  Book Tickets: 01/01/2009
  |  Watch Now: 18/11/2010
  |  110 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC
Domain Film Poster

Synopsis

This moody, contemplative drama explores the unusual and unusually intimate relationship between an aunt and her nephew. Nadia, a single mathematician in her 40s, is struggling with alcoholism. Pierre, her 17-year-old nephew, is coming to terms with his sexuality. First-time filmmaker Patric Chiha, however, doesn’t package things so neatly. Instead, he reveals this story patiently and with suspenseful restraint allowing room for silence, facial expressions and body language to do their work. Indeed, the pair’s precise relationship unfolds with provocative ambiguity. Nadia’s alluring mystique, however, remains unmistakable. She’s worldly, educated, wild and mischievous; and she dazzles Pierre with captivating stories from her past on their daily walks through the park. They seem to be happy only when together, and their closeness borders on the inappropriate but doesn’t actually cross into the taboo. It is strange, nonetheless. Pierre picks out her dresses, tucks her in at night and sometimes even washes her legs. He ditches his friends for her. Nadia seems to need him too, but as her alcoholism gets worse, their closeness unravels. Béatrice Dalle’s Nadia is mesmerizing throughout. She’s unpredictable and mysterious but also somehow comforting. Domain is in some ways a coming-of-age story and in others a love story, but Chiha doesn’t play either straight. The result is something much more complicated and remarkable. —Benjamin Friedland