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The Restless(Les Intranquilles)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Belgium, France, Luxembourg · 2021
1h 57m
Director Joachim Lafosse
Starring Leïla Bekhti, Damien Bonnard, Gabriel Merz Chammah, Patrick Descamps
Genre Drama, Family

A couple with a young son grapple with the father's bipolar disorder, which begins to derail the success of his painting career and the stability of this previously joyful family. At first, the son finds his father's episodes to be fun antics, the dad's behavior starts to spiral, and the bonds of family are tested.

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What are critics saying?


The Film Stage by

Certainly there have been worse screen portrayals of bipolar than The Restless, which is largely inoffensive despite its reliance on stereotypes. Instead it feels like a frustrating missed opportunity, consistently opting for melodramatics whenever it needs to seriously explore its subject matter.


Time Out by Dave Calhoun

It’s a film that oozes clear-eyed empathy and has the lived-in feel of a story, director and cast working in strong harmony.


The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

The storyline is so predictable, in fact, that despite Lafosse’s skills at crafting a scene the narrative simply leaves you wanting. The actors, on the other hand, carry most of your attention because they simply have to.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

Lafosse administers the tension like a seasoned anesthetist who knows exactly what dose to deliver, keeping us on the edge of our seats but never resorting to cheap tricks or unlikely twists. It’s stressful and harrowing because it all feels so real.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

In narrative terms it never really develops any of its characters or relationships, yet its two utterly heartfelt lead performances make this a grimly authentic spectacle.


Variety by Peter Debruge

It’s not one of those filmmaking-as-therapy grudge sessions, but a wrenchingly fair-minded look at complicated family dynamics.


TheWrap by Steve Pond

Both actors are riveting in this sad duet, and Lafosse isn’t much interested in giving them a facile reconciliation. Everything is hard in The Restless, a potent drama that never quite succumbs to dread but always keeps it close at hand.

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