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Thomas Murray and Amanda have just moved to Paris. He works for a bank owned by Amanda's father Arthur Trevane. Amanda decides that she does not like Paris, so she goes back to London. Thomas's loneliness leads him to meet a French woman, Katherine, and a love triangle is born. Written by
Edgar Arias <firstname.lastname@example.org>
francophilia! it's almost better than a travel film to paris.
watch this for sandrine bonnaire, who is marvelous as usual.
the problem is that it is written by, directed by, and starring charles finch. mr. finch is a capable actor, an onanistic director, and a putrid screenwriter. he at least has surrounded himself with great people and he lets them do their thing. the visuals vie with ms. bonnaire for best-reason-to-watch the movie. at least the movie is set in paris and nice, and there is a beautiful new alfa spider to watch and hear.
jane march is striking on-screen, but disappointing. her character is not a happy one, but even less happy is her physical deterioration. if this is a deliberate attempt to contrast with ms. bonnaire, it works. but those who adored ms. march in l'amant (THE LOVER) will be puzzled by her appearance here. to make matters worse, her lines are muffled and one of her important scenes reduces the film to vulgarity. the director's laudable attention to detail and lavish use of time still do not excuse the debasement of what is otherwise a visually beautiful film that contemplates beautiful moments.
in fact, there is only one other ugliness in the film. it is mr. finch's overuse of his own face, which, while agreeable enough, does not withstand the scrutiny. few people can write, direct, and act in the same production. this is one of the better efforts at the triple play, but it is also further evidence that it should not even be attempted.
james fox gives a wooden treatment of a wooden character, and jean rochefort likewise achieves likeability in a can't-miss role. again, this is the result of a director who can bring nothing new to the script. it should also be mentioned that the script is as empty and predictable as mr. finch's interpretation of his character. it is a valid script and a valid interpretation; but both are devoid of complexity and surprise.
beyond ms. bonnaire and the luscious latinate visual indulgences of this film, there is one more happy surprise. large parts of the dialogue take place in french with no subtitles! it is effective, and the francophiles will love it. for this, for his cast, and even for his audacity, i do applaud mr. finch.
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