Clementine review – lakeside retreat harbours damp passions | Film

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There is some interesting material in Clementine, but it is an indulgent mood piece, unfocused and unfinished, and one that feels like an idea for a short film, but stretched out to feature length. Otmara Marrero plays Karen, a woman deeply hurt at being dumped by her older, wealthier lover D (Sonya Walger), who has moreover kept Karen’s beloved dog, Ramsey. In an angry, confused and vengeful mood, Karen drives to D’s beautiful lake house, where they had spent so much blissful time together, and breaks in – just to hang out, or somehow to assert herself. But here she encounters Lana (Sydney Sweeney), a disconcertingly smart, beautiful woman sunbathing by the lake, and a weirdly intense relationship develops between the two of them.

Exasperatingly, we are asked to stay tuned for long periods of time while the sexual tension between Karen and Lana smoulders inconclusively away, but then the dramatic focus lurches over to Beau (Will Brittain), a hunky guy who has come to do odd jobs around the lake house, but may be spying on Karen on D’s behalf, and may have designs on Lana. Then he, too, is upstaged in the toxic male sexual danger department by some creepy guys Lana knows, claiming to have contacts in the LA movie business. They have a video camera at their place and give innocent Lana an “audition”. Afterwards, this is the subject of an actor-ish monologue by Lana, which itself feels like an audition piece. (It certainly should go on Sydney Sweeney’s showreel.)

Where are we going with all this? Nowhere very satisfying: there is a lot of non-suspense leading to non-thrills and non-revelation of character. The performancesby Marrero and Sweeney, though, are perfectly fair.

• Released on digital formats on 8 February.

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Source: The Guardian
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