La Sentinelle

on October 16, 1998 by Dale Winogura
   A potentially intriguing existential mystery-drama is sabotaged by a frustratingly digressive, unfocused narrative and vague characters that never seem to develop into human beings.
   A curious medical student (a blank Emmanuel Salinger) finds a severed male head in his bag, which he gruesomely examines during the film's stretched-out 2 1/4 hours to try to ascertain its identity. In between, he finds plenty of time for tentative romantic encounters and strained, alienated friendships that don't seem to go anywhere or connect with anything. Although writer/director Arnaud Desplechin has some interesting ideas in content and style, he expresses them with such murky, pretentious strangeness that he becomes yet another in a long line of David Lynch imitators.    Starring Emmanuel Salinger and Jean-Louis Richard. Directed and written by Arnaud Desplechin. Produced by Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Soriat, Nicole Arbib, Veronique Marchand and Lucinda Thuillier. A Strand release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 140 min.
Tags: Starring Emmanuel Salinger, Jean-Louis Richard, Directed, written by Arnaud Desplechin, Produced by Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Soriat, Nicole Arbib, Veronique Marchand, Lucinda Thuillier, Strand, Drama

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