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An under-appreciated multiple themed experiment on love, ethics, feminism, murder and the growing EU, showcasing a luminous Charlotte Rampling in a complicated and compelling story. Michael Gambon plays the ailing MP husband in a fractured marriage - a deep moral fissure which splinters the entire film. Central character Clara Paige rises to European parliament power holding onto a decaying sense of self in a European Union working to bring together disparate elements such as boorish English aristocrats and rioting French farmers. Against this backdrop comes a passionate affair; a twist of fate; the unexpected act of murder; its hidden and soon not so hidden consequences, and the jumbled choices each character makes leading them toward the film's devastating climax.
Like the characters' sketched two faced drawing on a café napkin, to their late night phone calls and visits, this film is about our darkest corners and how we navigate them - in family; politics; and ultimately, in love. Paris by Night is David Hare's dark gem.
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