The decade in Claire Denis
The Intruder is certainly beautiful: most movies don't give us images as warm as Michel Subor drinking with a Pusan local or as vivid as a flashback to a boat's arrival at a French Polynesian island. But from Denis, that's not enough. Subor's character, Louis, is an intruder; various people are intruders in Louis's life (notably Béatrice Dalle); Louis even has an intruder inside his body - his transplanted heart. The heightening of Louis's condition, at first achieved through long looks at his huge chest scar, becomes absurdly literal when we see a bloody organ lying in the snow. All this is meant to make some vague point about rejection, and how communities and their outsiders relate to each other, but except in the Korean section and parts of the Tahitian one, Denis's use of photogenic isolated locations defeats her theme by not giving Louis enough human life to interact with.
35 Shots of Rum is Denis's variation on Ozu's Late Spring, except Ozu never had a chance to hear Lionel Richie. It's approximately as good as Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Ozuist Cafe Lumiere, which is pretty brilliant. Denis has complete confidence in Alex Descas (playing Chishu Ryu), and those of us who hadn't previously noticed he was among the most attentive actors around now wonder how we missed him.