In the scene where Claire and Viviane are sitting at the table discussing Viviane's name, Claire's hands alternate between touching her face and resting on the table repeatedly between shots. See more »
The credit scroll reverses direction for the soundtrack section, temporarily scrolling down instead of up. See more »
A drama queen's wet dream. It offers up a magnificent, almost epic gloss of the melodrama of at least 14 characters. The problem is that with a Robert Altman-sized cast crammed into 2 hours (Altman would take 3 or more), and screen time distributed more or less democratically, it's hard to get to know the characters--but some are very compelling anyway. The film is narrated and edited ridiculously, as if a novel had been tossed into a blender. Most scenes feel like they're less than a minute long yet are packed with dialogue. You might wonder if the filmmakers are trying to obscure script problems by making routine exposition an unusual chore.
However, the film's melodrama is presented in a lushly dark, romantic, Gallic way. There's something heady about the experience. And the film has some extraordinary settings. The cemetery is one of the most stunning locations since Scarlet O'Hara walked through the endless Confederate dead. And the train, crowded and zipping through the French countryside, is metaphoric in an undeniably physical way. Since Americans don't support public transportation, esp. trains, this experience struck me as unique.
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