Best Movies by Farr
35 Shots of Rum Poster
Released Runtime Category
2009 100 Drama, Foreign Language
Director Language
Claire Denis French
Mati Diop, Alex Descas, Grégoire Colin

35 Shots of Rum

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What's it About

Train conductor Lionel (Descas) shares a uniquely simpatico domestic arrangement with his college-age daughter Josephine (Diop) in a multi-cultural neighborhood in Paris. As Josephine waffles between her brooding childhood playmate (Denis regular Colin) and a suitor from school, and Lionel contends with his own romantic complications, they find themselves sorting through a host of confusing, ambiguous emotions, and dealing with the inevitable disruption of their family nest.

Why we love it

Sparse in dialogue but teeming with feeling, French filmmaker Claire Denis spikes every shot in "35 Shots of Rum" with a sensuous twist. Lionel and Josephine's father-daughter relationship carries an ambiguous charge, but never seems indecent, since Denis is more interested in the honest quandaries of familial intimacy than she is in sensationalizing it. Of course it helps that you can't take your eyes off hunky Descas or beguiling newcomer Diop, let alone the dependably soulful Colin. In this uniquely hypnotic film, Denis explores a multicultural side of Paris that American audiences, steeped in clichéd baguettes and berets, rarely get a chance to see.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"