Paul Dedalus is at a crossroads in his life. He has to make several decisions; should he complete his doctorate, does he want to become a full professor, does he really love his long-standing girlfriend, or should he re-start with one of his other lovers? Is he avoiding the despairing life his father can't escape from ? Written by
David Morgans <email@example.com>
Director Arnaud Desplechin originally wanted to name the movie "Comment je me suis disputé avec Éric Barbier" (How I Got Into An Argument With Eric Barbier), as a dig at former colleague Eric Barbier, also the basis for movie character Frédéric Rabier. A justice decision prevented him from using the full title, hence the ellipsis and the added subtitle. See more »
It's fair to say that had I not found Rois et Reine so rich, complex and ultimately enjoyable I may not have taken the trouble (to say nothing of the three hours needed) to watch this earlier work by Arnaud Desplechin toplining the same two very fine actors (Manu Devos and Mathieu Almaric). The fact that this time around the duo were supported by the likes of Jeanne Balibar, Denis Podalydes, Marion Cotillard and Chiara Mastroianni merely sweetened the pot but it has to be said that Desplechin doesn't make it easy. Almaric plays a University lecturer named Paul Dedaulus, a name surely not chosen at random. Daedalus, in Greek mythology was the father of Icarus, who flew too near the sun, but apart from that Daedalus was on straight commission from King Minos of Crete for whom he created among other things, the maze and the Minotaur in the centre of it. I'm betting twelve to seven that Desplechin had that very same maze in mind when he dreamed up this labyrinthine storyline of a man who is constantly taking wrong turnings in his attempt to move forward in his life. As a vacillator this guy can leave Hamlet dead in the water; should he stay with Devos - with whom he has been in an on/off relationship for ten years - or should he attempt to make and/or get a firm commitment from one of the three other girls with whom he is involved. At the end of three hours your guess is as good as mine but it is also fair to say that along the way we have been treated to some very fine acting indeed though whether it has any point is moot. Those, like me, who enjoy watching French actors
without question some of the finest in the world - in their early
careers will find this enthralling for that reason alone. Those will little or no interest in French actors, fine or otherwise, may well be bemused, bored or both.
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