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Savage State(L'État sauvage)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France, Canada · 2020
1h 56m
Director David Perrault
Starring Alice Isaaz, Kevin Janssens, Déborah François, Bruno Todeschini
Genre Western

In 1863, with tensions high in the midst of the Civil War, a French family living in Missouri decides to return to their home country. With their journey taking them through the dangerous West, they hire a man named Victor for protection, who himself is on the run from a vengeful woman named Bettie.

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Film Threat by Alex Saveliev

David Perrault’s Savage State opts for Jacques Audiard’s contemplative mood but fails to balance it out with fleshed-out heroes, a sense of humor, or even a coherent point. What we’re left with is the novelty of a well-worn genre seen through a very French, existential prism; it’s all jaw-droppingly beautiful and sleep-inducingly dull.


Variety by Joe Leydon

A gonzo mashup of gothic melodrama, Wild West survival story, and voodoo-flavored supernaturalism, with a side order of slasher-movie tropes and a sprinkling of kinky sex insinuations.

88 by Peter Sobczynski

The film has merit as a sprawling and effective work that combines the expected action beats with quieter, character-driven moments, and elements of pure weirdness to surprisingly strong effect. Even when it doesn’t quite work, and it's undeniably uneven at times, it at least has the good taste to offer up flaws borne of ambition instead of laziness.

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