Wednesday, 20 October 2010






















Before I begin to talk about this wonderful film, I should tell you all whose names I picked out of a hat for invitations to Pinterest. And the pinners are ... enia, ella, eliza and indie.tea. Please send me an email, as I need your email address to send you an invite. Thanks for playing everyone!

I'm truly amazed that I decided to watch this film, because it's quite timely for me. The essential plot of Cracks is quite simple: a cliquey group of girls in a boarding school tackle the unwelcome arrival of a beautiful, intelligent and worldly girl, named Fiamma. Fiamma is everything they are not: experienced, well-travelled, mature and sensitive. This plot has been done before, but what truly drew me in was their ringleader, their teacher, Miss G, played by Eva Green.

Green plays the part of the manipulative game-player very well. Watching this film, I was mesmerised by how well she managed to convey the subtle nuances of the seductive form of bullying she represents. Of course, Fiamma is victimised by both the girls and their teacher because she represents everything they would love to be. I wanted to feel sorry for Miss G because essentially her cruelty stems from her insecurity about her own identity. But I just couldn't, maybe because I've met women like her.

What I also admire about this film is its use of beauty and symbolism. The isolated island in which the boarding school is situated is like a mirror for the isolation of Fiamma. The theme of diving highlights the need to dismantle the allure of attractive surfaces and look at the danger within. And the beauty of the scenery, which makes the viewers almost complicit themselves, underscores how bullying is aided by the complicity of other people in their willingness to sit by and watch unpleasant events when they are coated in pretty words and images. Quite powerful.

If I'm being too serious, I will add, this was quite fun to see too. On a purely superficial level, the 1920s aesthetic and fashion of the film completely sucked me in. I wish we all dressed like this these days.


Indie.Tea said...

I was a bit obsessed with the trailer of Cracks several months, and hadnt realized that it came out. The cinematography looks so lovely...the sets and costumes. The way you described Eva Green's role reminds me of her bullying, confident-insecure character in 'The Dreamers'.

Deleilan said...

I've just watched the trailer, and it sent shivers up my spine and down my arms. Another movie to add to my "must-see" list!

P.S. I entirely agree about the clothes!

Enia Is (Almost) Here said...

looks brilliant hila! will have to check it out. she's been a favorite since the dreamers...

thanks for the pinterest link, will email now!

thanatosis said...

looks interesting!

evelyn said...

very nice :)

also im trying to help my very good friend in getting a bit of more followers for his art blog
maybe you'll like to stop by and support his blog by followin. thx! ^_^

anabela / fieldguided said...

Oh wow, what beautiful stills. I'm going to have to track this one down.

Joanna said...

I've had this on my Netflix cue for months now, patiently awaiting its DVD release. I feel like I'm looking at a painting. The colors, the scenery, the clothes all look so amazing.

Marinka said...

It looks interesting^^

Miss amanda said...

Oh how i love Eva green. I could watch her do house work and still think it was the most interesting beautiful thing i'd ever seen. She is captivating.

Ella said...

I have been wanting to watch this film forever, but sadly, it isn't available in the u.s!

thank you very much for the pinterest invitation, i tried emailing you but i don't believe it sent, so i will do it again in a moment! :)

Vanessa said...

I've never heard of this but the photos from the film look so beautiful that I have to see it. Eva Green is just amazing and like you, I share a nostalgia for the lost elgance of those times. sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong era.

Sundari said...

Looks very interesting. I always enjoy a good film review from you. I would love to watch it, I am always a bit behind when it comes to movies. I should set aside a week during the holidays to watch a whole list.

bronwyn said...

OK, I just watched the trailer. Gorgeous. I wish it was out in the US.

Tracey said...

I really have to see this movie! I adore the fashion from the 1920s too (and also wish people dressed like this today), and the themes you've identified sound really interesting as well.

I love the movie stills you've shared - they give a wonderful flavour of the film.


louise said...

I'll have to see it from your description and also for a fix of that 20's aesthetic.

etre-soi said...

Oh yes Cracks! l-o-v-e-d i-t !!! I was going to post about it, all those scarfs, patterns and headbands inspired me so much, wish we could dress like this today too :)

Rina said...

Oh this movie looks amazing! I can´t wait to see it! I can´t help to say something about all those beautiful and cute clothes.

tywo said...

You make it sound so beautiful. I have to watch it.
The pictures are very lovely.
Will you recommend some more movies? :)
Have a good weekend.


Mary-Laure said...

I am in LOVE with the 1920's so this looks just right for me. I'm dying to see it!

Maura said...

I was completely inspired by your post, just watched the film tonight and it was stunning! Gorgeous cinematography and such an intense, subtle story.

soph (owl vs. dove) said...

Based on the images alone, I was compelled to watch this film. After reading your summary, I'm even more determined to watch it!

Nicoline said...

Love your blog soooo sooo much!! I hope you will follow or visit my blog:)

Christine said...

I always love your film posts. I will have to check this one out. I love that girl's head pieces!! Have a great week. xx

hila said...

thank you all!

danica said...

i have not seen this, but have had it on my wishlist for some time. the aesthetic is gorgeous!

hila said...

it is so beautiful, you'll love it danica! hope you get a copy for Christmas, along with a mini Diana :)

Abigail said...

This film regularly appears in my blogs and thoughts. I'm fascinated by the idea of 'the waiting woman' and of female boredom. Something I read in Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale when I was still doing my English A'level just stuck: that boredom is almost a feminine expression; that men find female boredom erotic and has subsequently appears in art and films such at this.
I also think, at least traditionally, women had to wait a great deal; for men to come home from work, from war. They waited to find a husband. They waiting for love. They waited to get out of their bored lives. I think there must be one or two Campion films about this. Great post.