Alias Betty

This is a strangely satisfying little entry in the works of one of my favorite directors, Claude Miller

April 7th, 2011 by Wayward Muse
Rating: Genres: Actors: Arthur Setbon, Edouard Baer, Luck Mervil, Mathilde Seigner, Nicole Garcia, Roschdy Zem, Sandrine Kiberlain, Stephane Freiss, Yves Jacques Featured Directors: Languages:
Alias Betty

Though less ambiguous than many of Claude Miller’s films, it still bears the mark of his hand, in that he never takes you to the obvious places—good and evil is explored with Miller’s characteristic subtlety. This film is not about the “letter of the law” but the spirit of what is somehow “right.” We sympathize with the protagonist, even though she is clearly breaking the law. We may hold high-minded ideals about never “taking the law into our own hands,” but the film appeals to our deeper sense of righteousness that longs for things to somehow work out right.

The film presents all the ambiguity of a world where we must deal with things like insanity, poverty and desperation, child abuse and neglect—complicated “issues” that stubbornly resist all all efforts to eradicate and heal, and will probably always be with us, mucking up the works. “Realists” will hate this movie—just a heads-up; it doesn’t take the “gut-punch” melodramatic “ain’t it awful” approach of most “socially conscious” movies. That’s just not Miller’s style. This is also not very satisfying as a “thriller.” Like every other Miller movie, it’s all about the characters navigating their circumstances while dealing with their human weaknesses, and seeking some sort of peace despite living in an imperfect world.

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