Return To Ithaca (2014)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Retour A Ithaque

France, 2014.  , , , , , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by Laurent Cantet, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Film Editing by .  

A group of friends unite on a rooftop in the middle of Havana, joined by one member who has just returned from two decades of exile in Spain. They came of age in an era of both great political idealism and repression, and now with matters a little more lax, they take a look at themselves in their advancing years and see much to lament. They are mostly professionals or artists and, even though they are all rather successful, they have no money and their days are spent feeling like they run on a hamster wheel. The returning member has a few secrets to share, others have matters of resentment past and present to hash out, and there is nothing but time, booze and tropical heat on their side to wait it out until they complete their emotional catharsis. Essentially all taking place on one set with a small cast of fine actors, this deeply felt drama traverses an excellent landscape of almost theatrical structure, between multiple characters in lively conversation broken up by smaller moments of intimate dialogue. It’s sort of a Cuban Big Chill, except the youthful devotion to principles hasn’t given away to Yuppie capitalism but instead to a sense of feckless emptiness, unable to decide if the people around them are the hope they can cling to for comfort or a representation of how little they matter. Great stuff, and all the actors give each other superb support.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2014

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