The stylishly understated opening sequence of this classy French courtroom drama sets the tone for the film to come. The camera hangs back at a cautious distance, dispassionately observing a family at the beach. As we watch, the police arrive and lead away the older of the two children, a teenage girl. Her parents’ consternation is visible but their words are drowned out by the sound of the waves. It’s an elegant opener, which deftly balances calm, clear-eyed restraint with a hanging question mark of intrigue.
In remaking an Argentinian drama (The Accused), writer and director Stéphane Demoustier has cooled down some of the more overheated melodrama of the original. The glassy enigma at the heart of the story, which unfolds two years after the opening scene, is Lise (impressive newcomer Melissa Guers), the now 18-year-old who is on trial for the murder of her best friend.
Demoustier dangles doubts, but also raises questions about the difference between judgment and justice. The score acts as our guide through the story: neat, self-possessed string arrangements occasionally fray into something jagged, raw-edged and nervy.
• The Girl With a Bracelet is available on Curzon Home Cinema
Source: The Guardian