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Film Review: "It's All So Quiet"

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The early scenes in Dutch filmmaker Nanouk Leopold's "It's All So Quiet" are unsparing in their depiction of caring for an elderly person no longer able to care for themselves. In Helmer's case, however, as he painstakingly moves his father from the first floor to a second-floor bedroom, the entrenched passive-aggression is palpable, with far more of the latter than the former. We get the sense that the upstairs is the dying old man's second-to-last stop, and for Helmer the end of the line can't come fast enough. Over the course of this slow, austere film, we learn why.

Bringing to mind Michael Shannon and his mercurial fish eyes, the late Jeroen Willems anchors the film as Helmer, clearly struggling with repressed desires that surface when a shy, kindly truck driver shows up. The purpose of the fourth main character, a handsome young farmhand, is a bit of a mystery, which illustrates the trouble with this otherwise beautifully crafted film: A quartet of men unable or unwilling to express themselves makes for a challenging moviegoing experience.

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