35 Shots of Rum

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35 Shots of Rum

Claire Denis (2008)

12A Certificate


Our Score
This rare celebration of functional families captures the rhythms and rituals of daily life in melting-pot Paris with a subtlety that reinforces its poignant mood of compassion and acceptance. Writer/director Claire Denis's film is suffused with the spirit of Japanese maestro Yasujiro Ozu (An Autumn Afternoon, The End of Summer), and she draws on her own family history to depict the relationship between widowed train driver Lionel (Alex Descas) and his student daughter Joséphine (Mati Diop). Their intuitive intimacy is shared by neighbours Gabrielle (Nicole Dogue) and Noé (Grégoire Colin), who are in love with father and daughter, respectively. But while the performances are taciturnly authentic, it's Denis's use of cinematographer Agnès Godard's meticulously composed imagery that leaves the deepest impression. Whether watching trains snaking through the suburbs or lingering on Diop and Colin as they slow dance in a cosy bar, Denis is more interested in the trust, understanding and love that exists between the quartet than any domestic melodrama, and her discretion makes this movie unforgettable.


A middle-aged train driver living with his daughter is struck by how lost a former colleague is in retirement. He realises he must find new meaning in his own life, while his child's blossoming romance with a neighbour makes him aware that she has grown up and needs to pursue a life independent of him. Drama, starring Alex Descas, Mati Diop, Nicole Dogue and Gregoire Colin. In French and German.

Cast & Crew

Lionel Alex Descas
Joséphine Mati Diop
Gabrielle Nicole Dogue
Noé Grégoire Colin
The Aunt Ingrid Caven
Director Claire Denis
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Other Information

Language: French, German +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: New Wave FilmsGuidance: Violence and swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 10 Jul 2009