Dr. Henry Harriston is a successful psychoanalyst in New York City. When he is near a nervous breakdown, he arranges to change his flat with Beatrice Saulnier from France for a while. Both ...
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Chantal Akerman films her mother, an old woman of Polish origin who is short lifetime, in her apartment in Brussels. For two hours, we will see them eating, chatting and sharing memories, ... See full summary »
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Dr. Henry Harriston is a successful psychoanalyst in New York City. When he is near a nervous breakdown, he arranges to change his flat with Beatrice Saulnier from France for a while. Both don't know each other and both find themselves deeply involved into the social settings of the other, because the decision to change their flats is made overnight. Could be the perfect amusement, but suddenly Henry finds himself beaten up by Beatrice' lover and Beatrice is considered to be Dr. Harriston's substitute by his clients. Written by
Chantal Akerman has since criticized her actors, William Hurt and Juliette Binoche, for not helping her promote the movie, after early mixed reception and production problems. Akerman has since said that both actors were difficult to work with and that Binoche was "as cold as an ice cube". See more »
Beatrice (Juliette Binoche) is a free-spirited Parisian woman with plenty of male admirers. The trouble is, she hasn't really returned anyone's affections. When she feels pressured, she decides to swap apartments with a New Yorker for awhile. Henry (William Hurt) is a shrink who also is a bit tired of putting people's lives in order and he believes a trip to Paris will do him good. However, Beatrice is mistaken for a doctor temporarily replacing Henry and is beset with several patients. She listens, she has fun! And, patients hand her the green stuff. Meanwhile, Henry is less than thrilled with Beatrice's noisy apartment and decides to come back to the NY area early. Ah ha! He finds out in short order that Beatrice has been seeing his patients and he decides to pose as one. Let the games begin.
This very French film, told mostly in English, has a sweet charm and a wonderful premise. Binoche graces the film with her loveliness and talent and Hurt gives a likable performance as well. Yes, it is understated and the dialogue seems truncated at times, but the movie has a European flavor that will please those who like it quirky. All other elements, costumes, scenery, and cinematography, are nice, too. If you belong to the group of film enthusiasts which needs a dose of laughs and love every week, find this film in the near future. It is a great movie to watch from a comfortable couch, with or without, a partner.
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