Review: Only the Animals, a mysterious French drama

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Nadia Tereszkiewicz in Only the Animals

Only the Animals (Seules les bêtes) brings mystery from France in this tale of chance and interconnection. It’s about lonely and often isolated people who think they aren’t connected to anyone.

Only the Animals (Seules les bêtes) moves in nonlinear fashion thorough several individuals who are involved in the mystery. We move from person to person as the story unfolds. The storytelling method works exceptionally well in this film to keep it moving, keep it interesting, and keep it surprising.

I’m going to give you the bare minimum about each character. To tell you too much would spoil the plot.

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in Only the Animals

Evelyne (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) was married to a man who traveled a lot. She liked to pick up women for one night stands. Early in the story, Evelyne comes up missing and the search is news all over France.

Nadia Tereszkiewicz in Only the Animals

Marion (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) was Evelyne’s latest one night stand. Except the young woman didn’t want to be a one night stand. Marion tracked Evelyne down at her remote home and wanted to be with her.

Damien Bonnard in Only the Animals

Joseph (Damien Bonnard) was a farmer living with only the memory of his dead mother and his dog in another isolated and remote location. Remote and isolated are running themes through every individual’s part of this story.

Laure Calamy and Bastien Bouillon in Only the Animals

Alice (Laure Calamy) was a visiting nurse or social worker of some sort. She called on Joseph at his farm. She saw the abandoned car belonging to Evelyne. Later there was another abandoned car that she visited with the Gendarme (Bastien Bouillon).

Denis Ménochet in Only the Animals

Michel (Denis Ménochet) was married to Alice. He and Alice were the only two characters who should have had a relationship, but it was not a good one. They were looking elsewhere.

Guy Roger 'Bibisse' N'Drin in Only the Animals

Finally, there was Armand (Guy Roger ‘Bibisse’ N’Drin). He worked the internet for “pigeons” who could be scammed.

All these seemingly random people were woven into the story by chance, by mistaken emotion, by bad thinking, and poor decisions. I found the film compelling and interesting.

The film is streaming on Prime Video.

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. #EldersRock! Look for Old Ain't Dead on Twitter.

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