DVD extras include: 16x9 anamorphic, 5.1 sound, interviews with Andre Techine, Gaspard Ulliel & Gilles Perrault, subtitle control, storyboards, photo gallery. Set in 1940 at the beginning of France's occupation by the Ge... more »rmans, Strayed stars French film icon Emmanuelle Béart (Nathalie, 8 Women) as Odile, a young and beautiful widow fleeing Paris with her two children. When German planes bomb the road filled with refugees, Odile's car is destroyed and the three must escape into the woods. There they encounter Yvan (sexy newcomer Gaspard Ulliel - Brotherhood of the Wolf), a 17 year-old illiterate delinquent whose survival skills and charm soon prove indispensable. They soon take shelter in an abandoned house and become a makeshift family. Odile, at once suspicious of and attracted to the mysterious stranger, soon finds herself at the center of a fascinating set of personal and sexual dynamics. One of the most respected filmmakers in France, André Téchiné (Wild Reeds, Rendez-Vous) once again, builds on his reputation as one of the most sensitive and intelligent filmmakers working today.« less
Strayed in the Forest: Love Story with Beauty and Resonance
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 04/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two great things about 'Strayed' are Emmauelle Beart and Gaspard Ulliel. Perhaps Beart is more famous than Ulliel, but French cinema fans remember Gaspard Ulliel in 'A Very Long Engagement' in which he played the love of Audrey Tautou's heroine. Compare the two characters he plays, and you will know that he is a real thing, a real talent who is on the way to an international fame.
As to the film itself, 'Strayed' is set in 1940, the earlier days of German occupaton in France. Based on a novel "La Garcon aux yeux gris," the film is about a widowed teacher Odile (Beart) and her two children, who escape from the attack by a German aircraft in the quiet forest. There they meet a 17-year-old boy Yvan (Ulliel), and the four characters seeks for a temporary haven in a deserted mansion among the woods, where the time has stopped eternally.
Now it's not hard for us to anticipate what we see in this short film (about 90 minutes). Despite the differences, the relations between Odile and Yvan get more emotional as the story unfolds. But Techine doesn't stop there, for the two children of Odile (one boy and one girl) are looking for something from Yvan, who, to them, is a superior being. All these tensions are expressed, or suggested, in the seemingly quiet, episodic story. Everything is understated, but it is surely there.
[SUPERB ACTING] Without Beart and Ulliel, 'Strayed' could not be as good as it is. Fans of Emmanuelle Beart, who resented the misuse of her beauty in 'Mission Impossible' (like me), should watch this. Her excellent acting gives a life to the nervous character of Odile. And Ulliel literally becomes Yvan, a curious blend of street-smart wisdom and childlike innocence.
'Strayed' is the second colaboration of Techine and Beart (the first was 'J'embrasse pas' made in 1991). One good thing about Techine's films is that he shows the best side of the leading ladies, and 'Strayed' is no exception. My only complaint is that 'Strayed' should be better with a longer running time. After watching this film second time, I still find the ending too sudden and disappointing. Well, but I know, you may feel differently.
The fact that 'Strayed' is a French film might make you feel this is just another tedious, pretentious, European art-house nonsense that you cannot understand, but say that you do understand. No, that's not true. Techine doesn't despise mysteries and melodramas, and you can watch 'Strayed' as well-made love romance, with authentic feelings about the people and the place. As such it is first-rate."
Hiding in Plain View
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 10/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
Set during the German occupation of France during WW II, "Strayed" (Les Egares) is a quiet, subtle film directed by the estimable Andre Techine and brimming over with valid psychological insight and emotional awareness. "Strayed" tells the story of a widow (Emmanuelle Beart) fleeing Paris with her children: she's prim, proper, a school teacher used to a particular middle-class sense of decorum and restraint, who comes upon an unsettling, "natural" young man (Gaspard Ulliel) who lives by his wits and exhibits an intense knowledge and intuition of how to survive. It is 1940, the Germans have taken over Paris, France is in disarray, yet these scared and wary people bond together: each one learning things from the other that don't come naturally to either of them. They find a safe place in an empty villa, once occupied by a Jewish couple and therein all four set up a home. In many ways then, "Strayed" is about the Universal conflict between the Natural and the Ordered Life and to Techine's credit, one does not win out over the other. Instead, these characters find a place in their hearts willing to compromise, accept their differences and find a kind of love motivated by desperation and survival. "
A Different Kind of Love, A Different Time of War
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"STRAYED is yet another of those tender French films about survival and discovery under the duress of World War II. Based on the novel 'Les Egares' by Gilles Perrault and adapted for the screen by Gilles Taurand, STRAYED is an elegantly honest tale of a small family forced to evacuate Paris during the Nazi invasion and how that disruption in their lives ultimately enhances their view of the world.
Odile (Emmanuelle Beart) is an educated mother of two children, Cathy (Clemence Meyer) and Philippe (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet), who has been teaching school and raising the dignity of her family until the war disrupts everything. During a blitz Odile hurries Cathy and Philippe into her car and drives out of Paris to the South to escape the Nazis. Her car breaks down and is burned and in a moment of desperation a young illiterate lad, Yvan (Gaspard Ulliel) from a reformatory offers his help and assists Odile and her family in finding refuge in a deserted country estate. Odile is at first cold to Yvan, but as the children warm to him, and as Yvan captures food for their table, Odile softens, no longer looking at this illiterate young lad as someone beneath her, and begins to teach him how to write and read.
Yvan keeps his past a secret, maintaining a mystery about himself that makes him all the more appealing. In time Odile succumbs to her physical attraction to Yvan and this warmly extended 'family' enjoys the beauty of the French countryside and new home...until the war seems over. Gendarmes visit the house, arrest Yvan as being an escapee from a reformatory, and because Odile and her children are illegally living in another person's home, they are moved to a refugee camp.
The manner in which this story pummels to an end is tense and tender and as directed by Andre Techine, the lessons of living, loving and surviving war are fully explored.
Odile is probably one of the beautiful Beart's finest roles, matched in sensitivity only by Gaspard Ulliel's finely wrought Yvan. The cinematography is breathtaking and the musical score is supportive without disrupting the flow of the film. Highly recommended on every level! Grady Harp, March 2005"
Bart King | Portland, Oregon | 07/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Despite its WWII setting and frightening opening sequence, STRAYED ("Les Egarés") is a quiet and pastoral film. The movie concerns itself with a small family holed up in a chateau with an oddly self-reliant teenager named Yvan. It's a blessedly small story, and frankly, not much happens. (I repeat: Not much happens.)
This is not a criticism; intimate mood pieces are fine by me, leaving the viewer at leisure to evaluate the acting performances. Though at first she seems a cipher, I was impressed by Emmanuelle Béart's acting. Only having seen her in "glamorous" roles before, I was impressed by her ability to look pensive and melancholy in a role where she is uncertain of her place in the scheme of things. The lion's share of dialogue belongs to her son and Yvan, with a daughter thrown into the mix seemingly as an afterthought.
Anyway, at one point a visiting French soldier tells Béart that she needs to snap out of her dreamland. That's how I felt watching this movie; it was a very pleasant dream, but its plot had no momentum and could be interrupted at any point without ill effects... and then returned to again.
SIDELIGHT: The DVD's cover is strictly for marketing; this is by no means a torrid love story."
Lost, strayed, stolen . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 12/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film by French director André Téchiné is set in the summer of the civilian exodus from Paris during the invasion of the German armies at the start of WWII. Viewers expecting to be informed by a recreation of historical events will be disappointed, as this film has other things on its mind. Instead, it becomes a psychological study of a war widow with two children who falls under the influence of a mysterious teenage boy as they take refuge from aerial strafing in an isolated, empty house deep in the wooded countryside. In many ways, the time and place are unimportant; it could be just about anytime, anywhere.
The young man keeps food on the table by snaring rabbits in the woods and tries to gain possession of a confiscated gun, the mother's young son tries unsuccessfully to win his friendship, and two French soldiers spend an overnight at the house. Meanwhile, erotic tension slowly builds, though there are at least fifteen years between the widow and her young protector, and the film takes a long time deciding whether to consummate it. Eventually, the reality of the outside world intervenes and the story resolves itself as the mystery of the young man is at least partly solved. Slow, but with a few unexpected revelations. The DVD includes interviews with Téchiné and the author of the novel on which the film was based."