Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Original title: Apres L’Amour
France/Portugal, 1992. Alexandre Films, Canal+, Prodève, TF1 Films Production. Screenplay by Diane Kurys, Antoine Lacomblez. Cinematography by Fabio Conversi. Produced by Jean-Bernard Fetoux. Music by Yves Simon. Production Design by Tony Egry. Costume Design by Mic Cheminal. Film Editing by Herve Schneid.
Isabelle Huppert plays a novelist suffering from writer’s block for her latest project, and it is likely due to her personal situation: she is keeping up two full-fledged relationships with two separate men, and they in turn are maintaining their lives (and children) with other women. All the members of this menage a cinq seem to think they are completely comfortable with the situation (only one member is unaware of the plethora of lives involved), but eventually the complications get too much and things get dicey. At the centre of it, Huppert is the most unphased and yet the most affected: is it actually possible to wholly love two people? Director Diane Kurys hardly examines the situation she creates, the film is a disappointingly shallow investigation of the human drive toward monogamous intimacy, but it does feature a rich visual texture and some impressive performances. Huppert is the complete opposite of her famously hard, internally damaged persona, here playing someone who is light and uncomplicated, simultaneously delighted and confused by life and pulling it off with the same intense charisma that she usually gives to her cracked, challenging characters. Pop singer Lio appears as one of the two women in competition with her, and Hippolyte Girardot and Bernard Giraudeau are superb as her men.