Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Original title: 3 Coeurs
France, 2014. Rectangle Productions, Wild Bunch, Pandora Filmproduktion, Scope Pictures, Arte France Cinéma, WDR / Arte, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, Canal+, Ciné+, Arte France, Soficinéma 10, Cinémage 8, Palatine Étoile 11, Région Rhône-Alpes, Région Ile-de-France, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Filmförderungsanstalt. Screenplay by Julien Boivent, Benoit Jacquot. Cinematography by Julien Hirsch. Produced by Alice Girard, Edouard Weil. Music by Bruno Coulais. Production Design by Sylvain Chauvelot. Costume Design by Catherine Leterrier. Film Editing by Julia Gregory. Toronto International Film Festival 2014.
Having missed his train that was to take him back to Paris, Benoît Poelvoorde wanders the streets of a country town and happens upon Charlotte Gainsbourg. The two enjoy a romantic encounter, walking and talking all night and agreeing to meet in the City of Lights the following week. When an anxiety attack prevents him from making their rendez-vous, she makes up her mind about moving to Minneapolis with her husband and he goes back to her town in search of her but finds Chiara Mastroianni instead. Mastroianni is actually Gainsbourg’s sister, which Poelvoorde is not aware of until he is engaged to her, having met the delightful antique-store owner by saving her from tax penalties. Things get super awkward when Gainsbourg returns to France for her sister’s wedding and inspires a highly dramatic reunion with her sister and new brother-in-law, all of it under the watchful eye of Catherine Deneuve as the girls’ mother, seemingly innocuous with her constant insistence on food but secretly ahead of everyone else’s lies. Intelligent acting and beautiful cinematography do nothing to keep a ridiculously melodramatic film from destroying your patience very quickly: there are lot of unnecessary emotional outbursts and inexplicable conflicts (like, for instance, why this perpetually rumpled and not particularly charming man is at the centre of such a heated circumstance to begin with), and the high caliber of actors involved only make the situations seem that much more ridiculous.