9 05 2015

On My WayIn Emmanuelle Bercot’s road trip drama “On My Way,” the viewer gets treated to not just one but two separate automotive journeys with Catherine Deneuve’s aging beauty queen Bettie.  Each has its own narrative arc with separate, compartmentalized motivations.  Bercot, working from a script she co-wrote with Jérôme Tonnerre, pivots from the first to the second so suddenly that it takes a while to realize the film has entered a new phase.

The two sections of “On My Way” feel so tenuously connected that Bercot and Tonnerre might as well have Scotch taped them together.  The first section, a short film where Bettie walks out on her responsibilities and duties to find cigarettes (but really a deeper meaning to her life), makes for the kind of pondering philosophical piece rarely thrown to actresses of Deneuve’s age.  Though, to be fair, those kinds of movies scarcely get made anyways.

Then, the bulk of “On My Way” follows Bettie extending her road trip to transport her grandson, born to an estranged daughter, to visit the paternal grandfather.  In this section, which could stand alone as its own curt narrative, Bercot hits all the expected beats of the family drama with little to no surprises up her sleeve.  Nothing ever falls flat, yet the film inspires ambivalence since nothing soars.

“On My Way” essentially provides two movies for the price of one, though the ticket is hardly worth buying unless it’s cheap.  The film’s first thirty minutes of introspection might have been half-decent had they not been followed up by over an hour of a rather standard issue story.  C+2stars



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