TIFF 2014: Alleluia

Alleluia Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz directs this darkly humorous romantic thriller, loosely inspired by the true story of the “The Lonely Hearts Killers” from the 1940s.  Michel (Laurent Lucas) is a con man, who finds women through personal ads and extorts them out of their money.  Michel is found out by his latest mark, a mortician named Gloria (Lola Dueñas), who falls madly in love with him anyways and decides to help Michel in his con jobs, by posing as his sister.  However, it turns out that Gloria can’t stand the thought of Michel sleeping with other women and develops the habit of going into murderous jealous rages. Alleluia is a film loosely inspired by the true story of the “The Lonely Hearts Killers” Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, who killed up to 20 women in the 1940s, all of whom were attracted via personal ads.  Of course, in this film, Michel is more concerned with conning the women out of their money.  It is only through the jealous rage of Gloria that these women end up dead.  It is quite apparent from when she is introduced in the opening scene that Gloria isn’t all right in the head and that she is fully willing to abandon her young daughter, just so she can be with Michel. It is quite surprising how much dark humour is in Alleluia, which includes a full out of the blue musical number. One of the stand-out scenes in the film involves the daughter of one of Michel’s marks, who seems to fully realize what is going on and tries to warn her mother.  The film is very vignette-based, consisting of four acts, and has a very sudden ending, with the final resolution playing out during the credits.  All together, Alleluia is not a perfect film, but it has its moments. 7 | FAIR  Screenings:

  • Thursday, September 11, 3:00pm – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
  • Saturday, September 13, 9:15pm – Scotiabank Theatre 13
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).