Nenette And Boni

Not a total loss but not really a finished film either, Claire Denis’ seventh feature (1996) is much too coy and nonspecific for its own good. GrĂ©goire Colin and Alice Houri, who played siblings in Denis’ 1994 TV feature U.S. Go Home, are reunited as the title characters, a troubled brother and sister living in Marseilles. Boni is a horny 19-year-old pizza worker lost in masturbation fantasies; his 15-year-old sister Nenette, seven months pregnant, flees her boarding school to stay with him. Both detest their father, and Denis strongly hints but never confirms that the unborn child is his. More defensibly, the film refuses to discriminate between the 19-year-old’s fantasies and his daily life. Basically the film is a collection of funky surface distractions, and as such it’s quite watchable; just don’t go looking for too much more.

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