From the socially urgent storylines to the handheld camerawork, you often know exactly what you’re getting into when you put on a film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Their social dramas carry a sense of realism that has earned them countless accolades across the globe, and while their new drama, “The Unknown Girl,” bears their stylistic trademarks, it also finds them embracing genre, in this case the murder mystery/detective story.
Rising French actress Adèle Haenel stars as a young doctor who succumbs to guilt after a patient she refused to see one evening winds up dead. The passing inspires her to find out who the deceased was, and the film follows her subsequent investigation.
Much like the Dardennes’ last film, the Marion Cotillard-starring “Two Days One Night,” the minimalist drama simply follows its protagonist from one locale to the next, expanding its themes and societal views with each new encounter she has. “The Unknown Girl” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May and received a more mixed response than the Dardennes are used to. They recently re-cut the film for a new version that runs seven minutes shorter.
The debut international trailer has been released. No subtitles are available yet. Sundance Selects is releasing the drama sometime this fall.