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The Roads Not Taken

Leo (Javier Bardem), who suffers from advanced brain atrophy, a kind of dementia. He spends his days under the bed covers in his barren New York apartment while his daughter Molly (Elle Fanning) tries to look after him.

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When the mind doesn‘t play along anymore, life becomes a battle. Suddenly everything comes together in that state: the past and present, dreams and visions, times and places get mixed up into an endless stream of images and feelings that can‘t be articulated, or can only be uttered in fragments that use up a lot of energy. This is the case with Leo (Javier Bardem), who suffers from advanced brain atrophy, a kind of dementia. He spends his days under the bed covers in his barren New York apartment. A housekeeper deals with the necessities while his daughter Molly (Elle Fanning) makes sure Leo goes to his doctor‘s appointments even though she actually has no time for it because she is fighting to keep her job. However, she stays with her father, and tries to get him to move or at least make sense if only for a second, to no avail. Leo is too far gone, he is done with the present. Using flashbacks and downward descents, Sally Potter takes us to Leo‘s subconscious in which he is a writer in Greece, a man standing by his first great love Dolores (Salma Hayek), the grieving father of his deceased son. Through it all, he always strays from the path, heading off in a different drection that leads him to a moral impasse. THE ROADS NOT TAKEN is a fragment of images, impressions, visions, and the acts that you can‘t undo in life. It‘s compassion is limited due to its abstract form which has a distancing effect and keeps losing itself. Once you know that Potter‘s brother was also diagnosed with early on-set dementia, you become aware of Molly‘s helplessness when dealing with her father in a completely different way.

Pamela Jahn

Credits

Großbritannien 2020, 85 min
Language: English, Spanish
Genre: Drama
Director: Sally Potter
Author: Sally Potter
DOP: Robbie Ryan
Montage: Sally Potter, Emilie Orsini, Jason Rayton
Music: Sally Potter
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek, Laura Linney, Branka Katic
FSK: oA
Release: 13.08.2020

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