Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. France, 2004. Fidélité Productions, France 2 Cinema, FOZ, Canal+, CineCinema, Gimages 6, Banque Populaire Images 4, Cofimage 14, Region Ile-de-France. Screenplay by Francois Ozon, collaboration with Emmanuele Bernheim. Cinematography by Yorick Le Saux. Produced by Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier. Music by Philippe Rombi. Production Design by Katia Wyszkop. Costume Design by Pascaline Chavanne. Film Editing by Monica Coleman. Toronto International Film Festival 2004.
Francois Ozon effectively examines the disintegration of a marriage by playing five key scenes in reverse chronological order. We see the couple in question divorce, followed by a scene from their married life with with their toddler, then the birth of their son, their wedding night (and oh what a wedding night!) and finishing with the beginning of their romance. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi is luminous as the female half of the couple, while Stéphane Freiss is compelling as the male, the two of them achieving a fascinating level of intimacy that the camera never tires of exploring. The characters are rich and the screenplay is absolutely impeccable, its reverse storytelling a successful device at letting us in on who these people are and what makes them tick.