Ursula Meier, whose 2009 debut Home was a horizontal fable of a family and a motorway, here moves vertically between mountains and the ground.
It focuses upon 12-year-old Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein), who lives with his feckless older sister Louise (Lea Seydoux) in a housing complex below a Swiss ski resort. While Louise demeans herself with toerag boyfriends, Simon earns the bread, stealing ski gear and flogging it to kids.
The audience meanwhile wonders where social services have got to... A yearning for adult guidance finds Simon trying to pal up with a kitchen worker (Martin Compston) and a ski-mum (Gillian Anderson).
The relationship between brother and sister is beadily observed and suspenseful, though the film rather drifts in the middle and doesn't quite deliver on its knockout revelation. Klein and Seydoux are excellent as the stalled siblings.