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Monday Morning review

The daily grind is wearing middle-aged Vincent (Jacques Bidou) down. His job at a chemical factory is monotonous, his nagging wife (Anne Kravz-Tarnavsky) and precocious children show little interest in his well-being, and DIY jobs get in the way of his passion for painting. As his dying father advises, he should leave it all behind and get away - - and that's exactly what he does, fleeing his small French village to explore the wider world, starting with Venice...

Veteran Georgian-born director Otar Ioseliani returns with this award-winning fable, a deadpan and almost silent observational comedy, which employs understated humour to explore themes of boredom and solitude in contemporary life. Certainly, Ioseliani peoples Monday Morning with a gallery of eccentrics - - the teenage son who builds a flying machine, a Peeping Tom priest, a transvestite cloakroom attendant - - but it's not nearly enough. At over two hours, the lugubrious detachment and repetitive quirkiness become more of a burden than a pleasure, leaving the audience every bit as flat as the protagonist.

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