Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
France/Germany, 2012. F Comme Film, StudioCanal, France 2 Cinema, Alamode Film, Christmas In July, Canal+, Cine@, France Televisions, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication, Filmforderungsanstalt, Region Ile-de-France, Cinémage 5, Soficinéma 8. Screenplay by Alain Resnais, Laurent Herbiet, based on the plays Eurydice and Cher Antoine Ou L’Amour Rate by Jean Anouilh. Cinematography by Eric Gautier. Produced by Jean-Louis Livi. Music by Mark Snow. Production Design by Jacques Saulnier. Costume Design by Jackie Budin. Film Editing by Herve de Luze, Sylvie Lager. Cannes Film Festival 2012.
After a famous theatrical impresario dies, the executor of his wills calls up a number of his famous collaborators (mostly members of the French film industry playing themselves) to show up at the reading of his will for a very special reason. When they arrive, they are played a film in which the deceased (Denis Podalydès) tells them that they are to decide whether or not an innovative theatre company should have the right to remount his famous theatrical piece based on the legend of Orpheus (the text of which is mainly taken from the Jean Anouilh play). These performers and crew members, some of them from more recent productions of the play than others, all watch film footage of the new production and, while doing so, begin to perform the text themselves, recalling it from memory and enriching the work with themes of love and nostalgia that are brought up by being near friends and collaborators for the first time in years. Sabine Azéma, Lambert Wilson, Anne Consigny and more are luminous in this experimental oddity by Alain Resnais, a film which shows a director who is still after so many decades a committed original. It works better in theory than in practice, however, and anyone who is not bewitched by the concept of such deep contemplation will find it obscure and excessively boring.