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Alias Betty

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Alias Betty

Starring: Sandrine Kiberlain, Nicole Garcia
Director: Claude Miller
Rated: NR
RunTime: 101 Minutes
Release Date: September 2002
Genres: Drama, Foreign

*Also starring: Mathilde Seigner, Yves Jacques, Stephane Freiss

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

ALIAS BETTY (BETTY FISHER ET AUTRES HISTORIES) can almost make you dizzy as it switches focus from character to character. If the characters had been interesting, sympathetic or believable, maybe the movie's schizophrenic structure might have been tolerable, but, as directed uninvitingly by Claude Miller, the movie offers little to its viewers.

Among the many overlapping stories is one about a grown woman named Betty Fisher (Sandrine Kiberlain) and her egotistical mother, Margot Fisher (Nicole Garcia). Betty, who now has a child of her own, is literally still bearing the scars of her childhood, namely a large mark where her mother stabbed her. Typical of the story's lack of reality is the reaction that Margot has when she discovers her possibly dead grandson. Rather than comforting the boy or running screaming about the accident, she just stares at him with a look of disgust. Her life revolves around herself, and her grandson's potentially fatal injury is an unappreciated inconvenience to her.

Most of the rest of the story is centered around a kidnapping. After disdaining kids, Margot goes and steals one for Betty. Like a three-ring circus, there are side stories aplenty -- none of them memorable.

"Let me die!" one of the characters screams after a poorly executed suicide attempt. "Let them all die!" was what I kept thinking, and what you may well be thinking too.

ALIAS BETTY runs 1:43. The film is in French with English subtitles. It is not rated but might be an R for sexuality and violence and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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