Evan Rachel Wood and Julia Sarah Stone are 2 really amazing young actresses to watch. A film where they get to work together and dominate the screen should be incredible to watch. And yet Allure is a tedious film to sit through to the end.
Laura (Evan Rachel Wood) is a messed-up person right from the start. Eva (Julia Sarah Stone) is a teenage girl whose life is pretty good but there are a few problem spots.
Laura cleans houses, including Eva's home. Laura makes the moves on Eva, complimenting her incessantly. All of a sudden, Eva ends up at Laura's place.
There is virtually no character development in the film. Character motivations for anything feel haphazard and random. Eva is trapped in a horrible circumstance but the audience is numb. There is a scene where Eva almost gets on a city bus, a potential for freedom. Instead of a dramatic moment, the scene feels false like they threw it in to serve an insincere purpose. Later Eva is riding a bike as if her life is normal.
Why does Eva stay? Why doesn't she leave? That would be nice to know, but you won't find out from watching the film.
You could find yourself interested in Laura's motivations. She has had a troubled past and does little to make that better. Her behavior is so random that you might get dizzy processing all of her moods.
Et Au Pire, On Se Mariera with Sophie Nélisse had its problems as a film, but you could see her motivations as a character.
The only point where you see the mother (Maxim Roy) after Eva disappeared is when Laura goes back to clean the house. The mother character says the police has given up the search and asks Laura to pass out flyers. The mother seems exhausted reading her lines, but they are bad lines. You are supposed to feel something in that scene but the lack of interest in the characters means the audience doesn't care.
This clearly isn't on the level of a Lifetime made-for-TV movie, but certain parts of this film make you feel like you are in that world.
The film runs about 105 minutes. If you do sit through it, you'll be checking in to ask yourself how much longer is this film.
Wood and Stone do as well as they can with the material. Denis O'Hare is perfectly cast as Laura's father; his character motivations are a lot clearer. There is a scene where Laura and Eva are telling each other how they don't deserve to be where they are. The scene felt more like their inner monologue as actresses wondering why the hell they are in this film.
Brothers Carlos and Jason Sanchez wrote and directed the film. Their music choices were good, both soundtrack and mood. They are artists more than filmmakers, hopefully. They should go back to their day job. Or get writers who can create characters worth knowing and following.
If the Sanchez brothers used their hometown of Montréal for filming, they found a way to take out every remarkable element of the city. The incentive might have been to keep the French out for easier U.S. distribution, but they made Montréal look really boring.
If you need to see Evan Rachel Wood do well in a Canadian film, see Into the Forest. If you need to see Julia Sarah Stone do well in a Canadian film, The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, Wet Bum, and Weirdos are great options. You should skip Allure.
Allure was titled A Worthy Companion during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF named Allure as one the Top Ten Canadian films of 2017.
Allure is available on demand in the United States.
video credit: YouTube/Rapid Trailer
photo credit: Allure