Les Destinees (Les Destinees Sentimentales) (2000)

OLIVIER ASSAYAS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

France/Switzerland, 2000, , CAB Productions, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, , Office Fédéral de la Culture, Procirep, TF1 Films Production, .  Screenplay by Olivier Assayas, , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Production Design by , , , , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 2000Toronto International Film Festival 2000.

A country pastor () decides to divorce his unfaithful wife (Isabelle Huppert) at the beginning of this epic drama. Giving her a healthy portion of money from his wealthy family in order to appease her, he meets and falls in love with a young woman () and the two of them go to live in a secluded village in Switzerland. When his father dies and leaves him in charge of the family’s successful porcelain factory, the two move back to their home town knowing full well that the glory days of their romance are over in the face of real life and practical responsibilities. Handsomely produced, this period drama features excellent acting and a passionate story, but Olivier Assayas’ direction is unusually dry and there’s no relish to watching this grand soap opera unfold. Huppert is criminally underused, while Beart and Berling never break the ice between them.

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