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 ... 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 »
This film seems to be a litmus test of some kind. The majority of viewers, both prof. critics and laypeople, don't like. But a sizable minority, like me, are ga-ga over it. I find it funnier and more intelligent each time I watch it. I liked it the first, but it has gotten better each of the four times I have watched it since.
Juliette Binoche is an absolute revelation as an actress. Watch her facial expressions change instantly as she responds to other people. She is marvelous. There is an incredibly funny dialogue between her and her French friend who lives in US, played by an actress, also very good, whose last name, i believe, is Buttle. Many of the commentators seem to believe that this dialogue shows the two women to be stupid, but I disagree. What the whole film slyly hints at is the stupidity of conventional, sectarian, ideologically driven psychoanalysis. These women, in their innocence of ideology, see thru the veil.
As does Beatrice in her role as makeshift therapist. What makes her a wonderful therapist is her RESPONSIVENESS, as indicated above, to what is happening in the moment with each patient as an individual. Unhampered by rigid doctrine, she gives each what they need, not a load of ideology. I would love to see the actual script, but haven't been able to find it.
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