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Bernard Le Coq
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A provocative erotic drama, stylishly rendered by Andre Techine, who won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this compelling investigation into the intersection of sexual and artistic passion.
In the middle of the night, someone brings Ivan's body home to his wife and his sad-faced, jug-eared son. Through flashbacks, the film discloses the relationships among Ivan and his brother Alex, a cop with a cleanliness fetish; siblings Juliette and Jimmy, Ivan's partners in a seedy nightclub; the love triangle of Alex, Juliette, and Marie, a professor of philosophy; and of Alex and his nephew, Ivan's dour, stoic son. Ivan's death changes every relationship. Images of paragliders, sun bathers, and opera suggest an expansive, colorful world outside the constricted lives of these characters. Written by
Before Christ was a time of orgies. Then came love.
How to describe this film in about 25 words. I agonized over that considerably. It really defies a pithy description.
Is it a crime story? Daniel Auteuil (Caché, The Valet) is a cop from a family of criminals. His big brother is killed in a botched car theft, and he is piecing things together. Of course, he is not formally investigating as it is his family involved, and also his (girlfriend, lover, whatever) is also a part of it.
It is, at the same time a love story. A love triangle between Alex (Auteuil), Marie (Catherine Deneuve), and Juliette (Laurence Côte). Alex is just using Juliette to let off some steam, but does grow to love her. Marie is madly in love with her. The relationships and the criminal enterprise are intertwined to the point where you really have great difficulty describing just what the point of it all is.
Me? I just enjoyed the great performances of Deneuve and Auteuil and Côte, as well as Juliette's brother (Benoît Magimel). That was enough.
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