Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Alternate title: Ghost River
France, 2002. FIT Productions, Portman Productions, Societe Francaise de Production, K2 SA, Capitol Films, Eurimages, European Co-production Fund, Canal+, StudioCanal. Screenplay by Olivier Dahan, Agnes Fustier-Dahan. Cinematography by Alex Lamarque. Produced by Eric Neve. Music by Stephane Reichart. Production Design by Marco Bardochan. Costume Design by Gigi Lepage. Film Editing by Richard Marizy.
Isabelle Huppert is fantastic in this emotionally saturated French drama. She plays a psychologically unstable woman who left her husband and son years ago following a nervous breakdown and now lives as a prostitute on the streets of Paris. When she reunites with her teenage daughter, whom she has hardly known her whole life, they get into some deep trouble and hit the road to escape the law. The only person Huppert can think of to go to is her ex-husband, so the two of them go on a treacherous journey towards reconciliation and forgiveness with the help of an ex-con (Pascal Greggory). Nothing of the plot here is anything you haven’t seen before, but director Olivier Dahan gets wonderfully nuanced performances from his actors and creates characters of rich depth. The emotional healing that happens as the film progresses is beautifully effective, and the cinematography and musical soundtrack are lush conveyors of Dahan’s delicate vision.