Bloody Oranges (2020) [Nightstream 2021] 

In a small French town, an elderly couple enters in a dance competition in the hopes to win enough money to get themselves out of debt. Meanwhile, a teen girl prepares for her first time, a politician makes budget cuts, and a creep awaits his next victim.  

Written by Yohann Gloaguen, Jean-Christophe Meurisse, and Amélie Philippe with Meurisse directing, the film is a slice of life in a small town where things go badly for just about everyone. The amount of negativity that befalls the locals is something that some will see as purely honest and real while others will find it a bit too heavy. Falling in the second category somehow, this film came off as a bunch of negatives with no real joy to it, not even in the proceedings, which leaves a bland taste behind. There are a few events in here that should shock, but giving how long it takes to get them, there isn’t much attention left when the film finally gets to them. The story has potential here, but all this potential feels wasted in a film that is overly long and like it just meanders in the sad lives of people. This may have been the goal here, but whether that is the case or not does not save the film from becoming a bore fairly fast. 

Given the film and its subject and contents, the fact the entirety of the cast looks utterly bored throughout makes sense. However, it makes it hard to say if the performances are good or bad, they just kind of are and they don’t offer much in terms of emotions. This means that no one really stands out one way or the other, except for Lilith Grasmug as Louise. She gets to have some emotions and a nice variety of them, giving her part something more and giving her performance the change to shine a little. She’s the bright light here and the only reason to watch this really. 

Bloody Oranges played Nightstream 2021 and looked to have a lot of potential, unfortunately, that potential did not come to fruition. Instead, a film with bizarre events strung up together with not real interest and barely any joy at all is what is presented here and unless one wants to watch something that is just blandly negative, this is not a film many will like watching.