ALPS (Lanthimos) | ★★★½
Giorgos Lanthimos’ follow-up to his 2010 masterpiece, Dogtooth, is not as shocking or graphic as that film, but it still succeeds in probing the psyche and challenging the viewer. And, considering the film is about a group of individuals who stand in for deceased people to soothe their mourning families, it is safe to say Lanthimos and co-writer Efthymis Filippou have weaved another brilliantly offbeat tale.
Perhaps the most shocking element of the film is its warmth. Dogtooth, for all its genius, was irrefutably cold. In contrast, Alps engenders a humanity that connects the audience with the central character (Aggeliki Papoulia) and the people whose lives she affects.
The distinct style Lanthimos brought to Dogtooth—atypical framing, elliptical editing, cryptic mood—is also present in Alps, though with a darker color palette. What is remarkable about the filmmaker’s idiosyncratic technique is that it somehow feels quite natural to the story despite its otherwise oddball sensibility. Without question, his is a singular vision.
A penetrating examination of loss, alienation, and loneliness, Alps certifies Giorgos Lanthimos as a unique voice and an immense talent.