Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. France, 2008. Cofinova 4, Rectangle Productions, StudioUrania. Screenplay by Philippe Garrel, Marc Cholodenko, Arlette Langmann. Cinematography by William Lubtchansky. Produced by Edouard Weil. Music by Jean-Claude Vannier. Production Design by Sophie Quiedeville. Costume Design by Justine Pearce. Film Editing by Yann Dedet. Cannes Film Festival 2008.
Louis Garrel plays a photographer who does a session with a married actress (Laura Smet) and it leads to their engaging in a love affair. They have to keep their affection for each other hidden from her husband, which is what he attributes her increasingly erratic behaviour to until he begins to understand that she is losing her sanity. He leaves her and time passes, a new less complicated relationship taking the place of something that was so much more difficult for him, but the presence of his former love haunts him, and not just thematically: Garrel occasionally looks in the mirror and see a restless Smet staring back at him. Philippe Garrel’s romantic drama is the best kind of arthouse French movie, where ridiculous circumstances are performed in realistic ways, made so much more delectable by gorgeous black and white photography and glamorous actors in the lead roles. There’s always a sense of winsome humour behind even the film’s most extreme plot turns, while the easy pace gives the feeling that nothing about this one takes itself too seriously.