Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5
Original title: Avant l’Hiver
France/Luxembourg, 2013. Les films du 24, Samsa Film, France 3 Cinéma, TF1 Droits Audiovisuels, Canal+, Ciné+, France Télévisions, A Plus Image 4, Hoche Artois Images, Fonds National de Soutien à la Production Audiovisuelle du Luxembourg. Screenplay by Philippe Claudel. Cinematography by Denis Lenoir. Produced by Yves Marmion, Romain Rojtman. Music by Andre Dziezuk. Production Design by Samuel Deshors. Film Editing by Elisa Aboulker.
Brain surgeon Daniel Auteuil is beginning to zone out for periods of time, something not convenient to the job when he does it mid-operation, his feelings compounded by the strange onset of bouquets of roses being constantly delivered by an unknown sender. His wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) waits for him at home and worries until she begins to think it’s possible he’s having an affair.
What should be a subtle, probing drama about the ordinary life of an extraordinary man is a shallow story whose gorgeous interior design and sharp, beautiful lighting do nothing for a plot that drags. The efforts of a terrific cast are wasted on something totally lifeless.