Nicole and Jean-Marie Kunstler are a nice, hard working couple who have been married for 15 years. They operate a dry cleaning business that keeps them both too busy to take a vacation, or to change their routine. A fateful trip to a drag club leads them to encounter Loic and Marilyn, a brother-sister drag queen performing team. Their shows fascinate the couple, as both Nicole and Jean-Marie find themselves growing more and more attached to Loic. Loic brings to the surface all of their suppressed desires and emotions - willingly and unwillingly. A psychological examination into the effects one attractive young man's entrance into the lives of an ordinarily seeming couple could have. Written by
Mesmerising theme music and interesting screenplay
The mellow, mesmerising tune of the theme music by Edouard Dubois made me watch this movie twice while on a transcontinental flight. The music was only one reason among others that made me watch the film twice in four hours. I am a French film enthusiast and the contents of the film (latent homosexuality, guilt, cross dressing, etc.)were not out of the ordinary. What was striking in the film was the deliberate, structured screenplay that made me recall early works of Marcel Carne. I was not surprised to learn that the screenplay won an award at the prestigious Venice Film Festival and nominated for a Cesar in France.
The film's beginning and end revolve around affirmation of marital bonds, while the bulk of the film (to me only the sub-plot) ventures into transgression of those bonds followed by redemption. There is sadness at the end but it also accompanied by a silent studied reaffirmation of faith between man and wife. The final walk of the duo is an ordinary event yet captured powerfully in this film. I recommend this film to those who have not seen it not as a film that is extraordinary, but one which encourages viewers to introspect and look at ordinary lives, not of superheroes but of less than perfect men and women. The film succeeds because of low-keyed acting (Merhar and Miou-Miou), the sombre yet mesmerising music and good mise-en-scene. The film discusses "drycleaning" of two individuals' marital life, but the script and the director elevate the wife as strong personality with a level-headed strength developed quite unobtrusively as the film progresses. Anne Fontaine, the director, is someone to watch out for in the future as is Edouard Dubois. In more ways than one (direction, cinematography, the script) the film gives a woman's perspective of the story, though a wee bit sombre.
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