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 »
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In a small presbytery in Yorkshire, living under the watchful eyes of their aunt and father, a strict Anglican pastor, the Bronte sisters write their first works and quickly become literary sensations.
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.
Love's less fun.
Probably. In orgies you give your all. No more, no less. In love, it's never enough. It's always too much or not enough.
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This is a fine effort by Andre Techine describing a messy triangle between a philosophy professor (Deneuve), a grim, harried detective (Auteuil) and the teenaged girl they are both in love with (Laurence Cote). The girl has joined the crime family that the cop has escaped from--Alex's brother has just been killed by police in a shoot-out while trying to steal luxury cars, and Alex must move very carefully when he returns home for the funeral. All these matters are handled very adeptly by the director, whose early works I confess to finding dull and lifeless exercises in style (Barocco!).
I can't say enough about Deneuve's performance; she has left the glamour behind in her 50's and just gives us one fine role after another. Marie makes it clear she has a special affection for Juliette: "I don't love women, I love Juliette." Her tolerance for Alex's clumsy attentions after Juliette's disappearance is beautifully done. Auteuil's attraction is more problematic; you can sense that there hasn't been much affection in his life and allowing Juliette to get close to him endangers his efforts to remain a loner. Finally, praise to Laurence Cote for her bravura blend of elegance and punk-rock; a wonderful new star.
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