Old woman Berthe leaves her house to live in her daugter Emilie's one. Emilie and her brother Antoine have fallen out three years ago and have not seen each other since, but Emilie invites ... See full summary »
Old woman Berthe leaves her house to live in her daugter Emilie's one. Emilie and her brother Antoine have fallen out three years ago and have not seen each other since, but Emilie invites him for Christmas. Memories will come up, and will be depicted both Berthe's destiny and the strange relationship between Emilie and Antoine. Written by
I first saw this film in my mid 20's and realized in hindsight that is was probably the first "adult" film I'd ever seen. These were adults coping with the realities of life, kids, marriage, relationships, an aging mother, death, etc. and not living life in an artificial, adolescent way.
The script is fascinating in that it contains so many wonderful, adult scenes. Some which come to mind immediately are:
When the mother is talking to herself by the swimming pool, Deneuve comes in saying "why didn't you turn on the light maman?", "Are you afraid I might break something" the mother says "No, it's just that you don't know the house and you may hurt yourself", Deneuve answers. The dialogue is so strong in that you get a point of view from all characters, yet other characters see things in a totally different way and they are all valid.
The conversation between Bruno and Emilie after his fight with Antoine about how she thinks Bruno's aged badly. How he sees their relationship and gone badly and in contrast how she sees it.
the conversations between Antoine and Emilie about putting their mother in a nursing home, how she always has to find the solutions to things and when she tries, he criticizes and she breaks down crying.
the point made by their mother at the nursing home regarding her children and modernity. How the children have grown up modern as they had wished but this curse of modernity has led them to put their aging mother into this home.
The way the mother talks so frankly about the grandchildren,"she taps on that damn piano all day, and the boy, a real half-wit."
the close bond between her and Antoine "you don't have to fake sleeping maman, it's only me"
I also love the piece of dialogue, after the mother's funeral, where Emilie has been separated from the family and you feel it's time she goes back home and instead of announcing anything, apologizing or trying to get back to the family's good graces, she turns to her husband Bruno as a matter of factly and says "Do we have enough eggs at home?"
Brilliant writing, brilliant dialogue, superb acting. I highly recommend this truly adult movie. Wish they'd make more like this.
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