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... See full summary »
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
I DVR'd this film in spite of a two-star rating from Comcast, because I like Daniel Auteuil and Catherine DeNeuve. How bad could it be? I wasn't disappointed. It begins with a mystery-who killed the father of the cynical little kid? And slowly breaks open the story, revealing the characters as it reveals the criminal enterprise that brought them all together. Most of them-including the little kid-are not family-friendly. This isn't a family film. A cop who hates his brother and is in turn hated by their father, who tells him, face to face, that he would have preferred that the cop had been killed instead. The dead man's son seems to despise his entire family, including his mother, and his uncle, the cop. Who, in turn, doesn't like kids. The cop's girlfriend doesn't like him much, and he really doesn't want to deal with her except for sex. But as others have noted about this film on this forum, the director pulls out just enough unexpected gilded moments to make it enjoyable to watch-like: a middle-aged college professor delivering a 3-minute dissertation on the position of money in western philosophy to a professional car thief during a nighttime ride-as a passenger- through the streets of Lyon. At the car thief's request. That sort of theater of the Absurd approach is one thing I like about French films. They're dependable that way.
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