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In The City Of Sylvia review

A silent and slow-paced romance about obsession

Spanish director José Luis Guerín’s drama centres on an artsy, lovelorn tourist (Xavier Lafitte) who’s returned to Strasbourg seeking a girl he has been obsessed with since their brief encounter six years ago.

Drifting ponderously along with almost no dialogue, In The City Of Sylvia makes us voyeurs along with the nameless lead as he wiles away three days sketching café customers and near-stalking a girl through the streets.

Guerín, meanwhile, overcooks such atmos-building details as the city’s sounds and play of light and shadow. His oblique MO aims for the profound and poetic, but ends up contrived and pretentious.

Carmen Gray

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Available platformsMovie