The Girl From Nowhere (2012) Matchbox Films Run time: 91 minutes. French with English subtitles. Dir. Jean-Claude Brisseau Starring – Claude Morel & Virginie Legeay
Michel (Claude Morel) is a retired maths teacher who has lived alone since his wife’s death 29 years ago. He is a great lover of film and culture and occupies his time writing a planned book about the beliefs that shape daily life from an intellectual level. Hearing a noise outside the door to his flat, he opens it to find a young woman, the homeless twenty-something Dora (Virginie Legeay), being brutally attacked by a ‘jilted lover’.
Taking pity on her, and perhaps because he is lonely, he takes her in until she recovers from her injuries. Her presence brings something new to Michel’s life, but gradually the apartment becomes the site of mysterious happenings. As the film nears its end, Dora reveals she has ‘abilities’ and senses Michel will die soon. But he believes she is the reincarnation of his dead wife and wants her to stay with him no matter what. Is Dora right, is Michel at risk of dying?
The film is notable for its subdued performances. Morel is an elderly actor and while his character is supposed to be one of great intellect and a deep thinker his reactions to certain events in the movie make it appear as if he is seeing something different to what is happening. When Dora shows off her mystic like talents, in The Girl From Nowhere’s most memorial scene, he stands and looks on as if he were watching something he finds deeply boring. Legeay at times suffers from this technique too and while she does display some real emotion when Dora tells Michel of her self-destructive attitude it is frustratingly too little from an actress who is clearly talented. At times this approach works, such as when Michel calmly tells Dora his theory on her being his deceased wife, yet at others it spoils the movies bizarre paranormal incidents.
What does come across well throughout is that Michel is a deeply lonely man and while he seems annoyed by Dora, to begin with, he finds her attractive for her mind and knowledge. The story concerns itself with the philosophical and ancient history. Many high brow subjects are talked about at length and as the film progresses these ideas and themes arise in the plot. The Girl From Nowhere has so many different theories and hidden meanings going on at once it is unclear what the movie is trying to convey.
The last ten minutes only add’s to the confusion felt throughout yet, if the heavy subject matter previously talked of is recalled, what Michel and Dora experience is something that not only had to happen, it was their destiny. It is literally written in the stars.
It is not a movie to take likely, the subjects and other theories explored within make The Girl From Nowhere a film that gives food for thought and perhaps an insight into the concept of eternal love.
Verdict 7 out of 10.
About James Simpson
A freelance writer and lover of movies, James is a long term contributor to UK Horror Scene. He has a regular feature on UKHS, World of Horror, as well as reviewing and interviewing when he can. He also writes for Gore Splattered Corner and Space Monsters Magazine. He has previously written for Scream Magazine and Zombie Hamster. Twitter: @JSimpsonWriter