If you like your murder mysteries served with a lot of snow, several cows and a touch of Fargo, then the delightfully unique Only The Animals is for you. Beyond the intriguing mystery the movie explores an invasive social issue that is ruining way too many lives.
When local woman Evelyne (Valeria Bruni) goes missing after a snow storm questions start being asked. That’s about all you can say about the plot without giving away too much and I definitely don’t want to ruin it for you.
I can tell you that the main action plays out in a small town situated amongst the beautiful snow-laden mountains of Southern France. There we meet a handful of locals, who may not be all that they seem.
Front a centre is Joseph (Damien Bonnard), a loner who confesses a distain for people and a preference for only talking to his animals. Long time married couple Alice (Laure Calamy) and Michel Farange work a nearby farm, with Alice also “doing her rounds” checking on the neighbours. There’s the local police Gendarme Cedric Vigier (Bastien Bouillon), and the stunning free spirit, Marion (Nadia Tereszkiewicz).
The story also swings to the dusty streets of Africa. Outside of the French small town bubble we met Rolex le bourgeois (Cheick Diakite) and his team. With the heat of the sun bearing down on their shanty town abodes they are hell bent on becoming rich.
Only The Animals is a twisting mystery about isolation, relationships, chance and greed. The acting is brilliant, particularly Diakite and Tereszkiewicz. The movie is definitely a story for our times, providing a clever insight into an online issue that is sadly infesting and ruining way too many lives. Maybe it’s the snowy setting, or the cadence of the movie, but there is definitely a touch of Fargo in there.
French with English subtitles.
Rating: 7.5/10 stars
For more information go to Luna Cinema.