Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
France, 1999. Ciné B, France 3 Cinéma, IMA Productions. Screenplay by Jerome Beaujour, Benoit Jacquot. Cinematography by Romain Winding. Produced by Georges Benayoun, Philippe Carcassonne. Music by Olivier Lebe. Production Design by Sylvaine Chauvelot. Costume Design by Thierry Delettre, Corinne Jorry. Film Editing by Pascale Chavance. Toronto International Film Festival 1999.
Richly textured film about a family trying to put itself back together when one of its members, the successful Gregoire, returns from jail after four months. Returning to his wife (Isabelle Huppert) and the trappings of his upper-class Parisian life, Gregoire is insistent upon living differently than he did before his incarceration. Part of this involves a slight relationship with the charming young Stephanie, his wife’s hairdresser. Benoit Jacquot’s direction couldn’t be more deft, using the widescreen angle to fully capture vast hallways and large parlours, creating a colour palette that is beautifully varied. The film has a subtlety that always treats its audience to a very intelligent and entertaining experience (one of Jacquot’s heroes is Henry James). Huppert is perfectly stunning as the hard-edged wife who has to adjust to a completely new man from the one who left her months before.