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Critic's Pick

'Olivier Olivier'

October 16, 1994|Kenneth Turan

This 1992 French film, written and directed by Agnieszka Holland, is an emotionally powerful piece of work marred by a clumsy plot structure. A nightmare set in Provence, which in its own way is as unnerving as anything they did over on Elm Street, it tells of the seemingly ordinary Duval family. After the 9-year-old son Olivier suddenly disappears, Holland's portrait of a family in crisis turns pitiless. The original policeman on the case, now transferred to Paris, picks up a 15-year-old hustler (Gregoire Colin, right, with Marina Golovine) who apparently is Olivier. While Holland explores such lofty themes as the effect of personality on the family and the nature of reality, she handles in a creaky way the resolution of the is-he-or-isn't-he story (Cinemax Wednesday at 8 p.m.).

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