La Vie Moderne (2000)

LAURENCE FERREIRA BARBOSA

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

France/Switzerland, 2000.  Gemini Films, StudioCanal, Les Films du Camélia, Light Night, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Cofimage 10, Office Fédéral de la Culture, Télévision Suisse-Romande.  Screenplay by Laurence Ferreira Barbosa, , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Film Editing by .  

It’s hard to discern exactly what director Laurence Ferreira Barbosa is going for in this hideously dull multi-character drama. It captures the experiences of three people at the point of a crisis:  is a housewife who longs to have a child but is having difficulty; she travels to fertility doctors but is hampered by the fact that her husband is too busy to go with her.  plays a man who has a random encounter with a beautiful woman and then gets caught up in a noirish caper involving her missing friend, complete with thugs who threaten his life. (Huppert’s real-life daughter) plays an emotionally intense teen whose socially awkward personality sees her assuming conflict with everyone around her, provoking strange and unfulfilled relationships with her father and classmates. Other than a vague accusation of the impersonal nature of the modern age, the three plots seem randomly stitched together and not a single one of them is interesting or engaging. Huppert is excellent, though it’s the kind of performance she can do in her sleep.

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