GUTLAND DISC D: Govinda Van Maele. Luxembourg/Germany/Belgium. 107 min. Sep 10, 6:45 pm, Scotiabank 13 Sep 12, 9 am, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 Sep 16, 6 pm, Scotiabank 9. Rating: NN
It’s a set-up straight out of Jim Thompson: a mysterious stranger (Frederick Lau) arrives in a small town looking for work, falls into bed with a local girl (Vicky Krieps) and gradually discovers he’s not the only one with a hidden agenda.
Writer/director Van Maele sets this classic pulp story in present-day Luxembourg rather than 50s America, which is briefly interesting, and the sex is a little more explicit than it was in the olden days.
Other than that, though, Gutland offers standard pulp fare set firmly on simmer, building to a twist that gets points for audacity but makes almost no sense a moment later.