Isabella Eklöf’s Holiday is beautifully shot, carefully considered, and very, very rough. Young, blonde Sascha (the Fanning-esque Victoria Carmen Sonne) is the skimpily dressed arm candy of gruff drug kingpin Michael (Lai Yde) as he takes his minions and their families on a lavish vacation on the Turkish Riviera. Michael’s contempt for and domination over Sascha is established early with an act of brutal violence, as well as an implication of regular roofieing. Meanwhile, Sascha also happens upon the hunky and considerably more genial Tomas (Thijs Römer), who’s traveling the world on his yacht and seems to be the Nice Guy that that Michael categorically is not.
Telling the story largely from Sascha’s POV, director Eklöf tends to cuts away before the bad things happen — except for when she doesn’t, including one of the more explicit and brutal rape scenes in recent memory. Filmed in a wide, unbroken shot with the oblivious world continuing on audibly offscreen, she makes what again must be stressed is a very graphic rape come across as downright quotidian. That’s the case with the majority of the film, as Eklöf favors wide, dispassionate compositions and naturalistic, quasi-improvised performances. Sascha herself remains a cipher throughout, ultimately emerging as less of a character than merely a survivor. And maybe that’s enough.
Not rated. Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.