Route 132

.5 star out of five
by S. James Wegg
Publish Date: January 20, 2011
Reviewed at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival
Avoid at all costs

Anyone who has been through the gut-wrenching loss of a child would be well-advised to make a detour around Route 132.

The potential for this road movie to even approach the famed U.S. highway that’s divisible by two is soon lost in a narrative that has no story to tell and takes nearly two hours proving that assertion over and over again.

How this feature passed muster by the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s programming wizards (so frequently making excellent selections from an overwhelming number of entrants) must forever remain a mystery.

For director/writer (sharing the screenplay honours with Alexis Martin) Louis Bélanger to also weave in purposely killed (Bosnian’s babies in this instance), innocent lives is both confusing and an insult to those who have prematurely left the planet from either cause of death.

Little wonder there was a steady stream of disillusioned patrons making sorry tracks to the exits from about 20 minutes in until seconds before the credits—mercifully—rolled.

La Sûreté du Québec may well consider filing a defamation of character lawsuit for their portrayal as Keystone Cops who can only “get their man “ after he’s had a bath and a good night’s sleep at his seldom visited Auntie’s rural digs.

Coming on the heels of—so far—the Fest’s best film just hours earlier (cross-reference below) made the pain even worse; just a night after the miserable The Child Prodigy makes one fear for the health and future of Québec’s feature film industry. Happily, there have been some remarkable achievements previously. JWR

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