16 Oct Babycall (Norway)
SUNDAY 10th November 10.00 am
TUESDAY 12th November 8.00 pm
RUNNING TIME 96 minutes
Anna and her eight year old son Anders are under the witness protection program following a difficult relationship with Anders’ father. They move into a large apartment complex. Anna becomes overprotective of her son and even buys a Babycall to keep track of him. Soon, strange noises from other apartments appear on the monitor, and Anna overhears what might be the murder of a child. Meanwhile, Anders’ mysterious new friend starts visiting at odd hours, claiming that he has keys for all the doors in the building. Does this new friend know anything about the murder? And why is Anders’ drawing stained with blood? Is Anna’s son still in danger?
REVIEW BY ANTHONY QUINN
Norwegian Pal Sletaune made the wry black comedy Junk Mail in 1997 and then dropped off the UK radar. Now he’s back with a psychological chiller, with Noomi (Dragon Tattoo) Rapace starring as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She plays a young mother who’s taken her eight-year-old son into hiding from her abusive husband. The drab, anonymous block of flats in which they are billetted seems a safe bolthole, but then she starts to hear distressed voices through the baby-monitor in a flat below. Is it all happening again?
The loneliness and paranoia of the tormented eavesdropper strongly recall Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation – like Gene Hackman, Rapace’s character doesn’t own a phone, which is tantamount to denying your own existence these days – and the mood of neurotic dread builds very persuasively. Kristoffer Joner is touching as a diffident hi-fi salesman drawn into the intrigue.
Source: The Independent 15/4/13 – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/babycall-15-7600750.html
REVIEW BY KIM NEWMAN
Anna (Noomi Rapace) and her eight year-old son Anders (name of the year Vetle Qvenild Werring) move into a drab flat to get away from Anders’ abusive father. Paranoid about the lad’s safety, Anna buys a baby monitor but is spooked (perhaps literally) by cries coming from another flat in the building. Directed by Norwegian director-writer Pål Sletaune, of the excellent DVD release Next Door, Babycall evokes Japanese ghost stories (especially Dark Water) but plays subtly different, even more disorientating head games. In an un-Salanderlike role, albeit with two astonishing moments evoking her Dragon Tattoo persona, Noomi Rapace is remarkably fragile and affecting, confirming her status as one of Europe’s best actresses. Too twisty near the end, but it’s a gripping, striking woman-at-the-end-of-her-tether story.