Synopsis by Mark Deming
Time and romantic attraction threaten to sour a family relationship in this drama from writer and director Claire Denis. Lionel (Alex Descas) is a middle-aged widower who makes his living driving a train and shares an apartment with his twentysomething daughter, Joséphine (Mati Diop). Lionel and Joséphine have a warm and caring relationship, and while it's not Lionel's nature to say very much, his affection for his daughter is clear. Lionel's on-and-off girlfriend Gabrielle (Nicole Dogue) and their footloose friend Noé (Grégoire Colin) live in the same building, and together the four have fallen into a casual family relationship. However, when Lionel's close friend and fellow driver René (Julieth Mars Toussaint) announces he's retiring, Lionel becomes painfully aware that he's not as young as he once was, and realizes how much he depends on his daughter. This knowledge sets Lionel on edge when Joséphine's friendship with Noé begins to evolve into a romantic relationship. 35 Rhums (aka 35 Shot of Rum) received its North American premiere at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival.
daughter, friendship, girlfriend, widow/widower