The film’s real subject is a young woman awakening to her oppression, rendered poignant in all its awkwardness by Noée Abita.
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In seeking to understand both abuser and abused, Slalom offers a truly nuanced picture of abuse without sacrificing indictment.
Charlène Favier’s Slalom is a familiar story of sexual abuse, but one told with such bracing intensity that it snaps across your face like a blast of cold mountain air.
Beautifully directed and performed.
Slalom ultimately becomes a story about seeing one’s passion in life corrupted through the twisted, pre-meditated manipulation of a mentor. It’s enraging and crushing in equal measure.
Everything about this hard-hitting film is restrained, like a breath tightly held, and all the more powerful for it.
The movie finishes on an unresolved chord, as if we have left the story months or years before the actual scandalous denouement. But it is arguably faithful to the mood of messy bewilderment and frustration that governs the ongoing situation.
Favier is smart on the mechanics of abuse, and the sobering inevitability of her heroine’s downhill skid.
It’s a recipe for an emotional journey to match the trajectory of the title, but director Charlène Favier’s script, co-written with Antoine Lacomblez and Marie Talon, is as chilly as the permacold of its surroundings, and punctuated by DOP Yann Maritaud’s serene, snowy tableaux.
The writer and director, Charlène Favier, had previous experience as a competitive skier, and she is attentive to the textures of mountainside sports and how abuse plays out in this setting.