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Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen) - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen)
SIFF's capsule summary: "One might think the Italian Dolomites are a perfect vacation local, but that notion gets flipped on its head in this taut family drama turned survival thriller, co-starring Oscar®-nominated actress Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), that challenges the presumptive innocence of a precocious child." (US, 2018, 116 minutes)
SIFF link: Three Peaks

Lea (Bérénice Bejo), her eight-year-old son Tristan (Arian Montgomery), and her new husband Aaron (Alexander Fehling) go on a vacation to a mountain cabin. Aaron loves being Tristan's stepfather, and Tristan likes Aaron but he's intent on testing his limits. Whether to preserve parental relations with Tristan's father George, to preserve aspects of her mother-son relationship, or some other reason, Lea is troubled by the growing connection between Tristan and Aaron.

The film isn't all the family drama. A scenic hike goes wrong, turning into a struggle for survival.

5 Fair The family drama part of the story is very well-written and directed, but it doesn't have enough material to sustain a feature. The survival drama seems largely contrived and gratuitous, and writer-director Jan Zabeil either failed to do his homework about mountaineering or decided to over-stretch his dramatic license.

The real strength of the film is the acting. Montgomery is outstanding as a child actor, and excellent even rated against adults. Fehling is very good, but although he has a lot of screen time his part doesn't demand a lot of range. Bejo is excellent in a much smaller, but somewhat more demanding part. The mountain scenery is beautiful, and when it needs to be, lonely and scary.

Much as I admired the acting and the family drama, the faults of the survival drama dragged the film down to fair overall.

Languages: German and French with English subtitles, and English.

Rating: I don't think this film has a US rating (yet), but I'd guess it would rate a "PG-13", for a mild sex scene, slight blood, and scary situations.

Screening: 10 am, Pacific Place (room 4).
Audience: a typical press screening crowd, a little over 100, about 285 seats (estimated capacity).

Snacks: none.

Ads and announcements: no ads at press screenings; SIFF volunteer "R" provided announcements.

Notes to myself:

SIFF statistics: 10 films (all features), 1 unofficial party.

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