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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

An innovative and celebratory look at life

Author: Trevor Davis from London, England
28 November 1998

This is a wonderfully fresh portrait of a woman handling grief.

There are many themes at work, but it is the sense of people

being true to their intuition and instinct that holds the fabric

together. Using a a variety of locations around the world, the

lead character (played by Lelouch's wife), DV-cams her way from

country to country, using her training as a dancer to truly

great effect. The film is full of invention and surprise,

beautiful camerawork and extraordinarily all-encompassing sound.

A celebration of the game

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A capricious beauty.

Author: morning75 from Taunton, England
3 December 2000

Though Chance or Coincidence is a film surficially concerned with death and grief, never have I enjoyed a film that deals with this most emotive subject in so trenchantly and poignantly a manner, while at the same time managing to exude such effulgence and vitality.

Its singularity is born perhaps of the balletic theme that runs throughout; the main character's passion for the art form making for some glorious set-pieces as well as a subject that, delightfully, elects to express her feelings through dance at the most unlikely moments.

Indubitably the exuberance of the cinematography plays its part; when its subjects dance, both dramatically and literally, rather than observe, the camera becomes a part of their movement, follows, and joins in.

And mention must be made of the glorious lighting; of a French film dealing at least in part with such themes of darkness and tragedy, this is an atypical example in its determined eschewing of any visual reticence or gloom in favour of an almost pugnacious optimism allied to a vibrancy that lends each scene a unique glow, becoming a light that radiates through the film as a whole, that rather than lessening the impact of its more emotionally affecting moments, prevents it from ever becoming maudlin or depressing.

Could the secret lie in the film's wilfully idiosyncratic handling of plot? Certainly this is a rich conceptual concoction, featuring a particularly exciting device in the video camera that plays such a pivotal role in an interesting, joyfully unpredictable tale.

Surely the secret is in the script, sharp and intelligent, interpreted in a range of superb performances from the cast; particularly enchanting is that of star Alessandra Martines, wife of director Claude Lelouch, in whose beautifully expressive eyes we may find the secret yet...

But ultimately, of course -- and predictably -- I will have to say that it is all of these. Chance or Coincidence was a wonderful surprise in all respects, as it will be to anyone who watches it, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Movie That Has Haunted Me For Years

10/10
Author: kbreifler from New Jersey, USA
17 December 2003

I watched this movie in '98 during the Chicago International Film Festival. The beginning was rather mundane and I considered walking out. Then came the pivotal moment. The pain of the lead character was searing, her journey worthy of the Flying Dutchman. Five years later, I still see her face. I would love to see this film again, but it is not available in the US.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Some very good ideas

7/10
Author: hbbio from Paris, France
30 May 2001

This movie analyses the impact of fate on lives by telling the story of a woman (Martines). I enjoyed the shifts between tragedy and comedy, and some funny lines as well. However, the movie sometimes wanders too much, some acting or sequences are cut too quickly. It appears to me as the draft of a wonderful movie. 7/10

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Innovative ride through coincidence

Author: anonymous from London
7 November 1998

An enjoyable movie, with depth and substance. Claude Lelouch's style of shooting close to sequence and only teling them the details of the scene as they are shooting gives the film a slightly documentary feel. One that is deliberate according to the director - and one felt slightly harrowing on the actors.

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extraordinary one of a kind film

10/10
Author: friedlanr001 from United States
29 June 2014

I was at home with my wife on a Saturday night in Honolulu when this film came on the TV. I'll never forget that night. A film so poignant,so beautifully realized, so imaginative, so -dare I say- artistic. I have it on DVD and watch it often. It is not the subject matter, or the direction, or the acting, or the cinematography that distinguish it; it stands apart as a work of art in its own right. Don't even call it a film. It is what a film wishes it could be, what a symphony wishes it could be, what a painting wishes it could be- it is an experience. Don't look for a repeat of this excellence in other Lelouch outings, it is not there. For my money one of the 10 best films I have ever seen.

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0 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A Movie Meant To Be Despised

1/10
Author: inframan from the lower depths
12 August 2003

I watched this movie on Sundance with increasing annoyance at the pomposity & pretentiousness of the characters & their vapid pseudo-"thoughts". The movie seems to be the embodiment of every negative quality Francophobes love to throw (unfairly for the most part) at most French movies.

Then I discovered that it was directed by none other than Claude Lelouch, the director of A Man and a Woman, the only movie I ever slept through almost entirely (in the theater). Well, at least he's consistent.

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0 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Boring

1/10
Author: espen-4 from Oslo, Norway
17 December 2000

A film about a woman losing her son and her boyfriend. OK. I don't mind a little sentimentality and art-movies. I also like good drama movies f.ex. Midnight cowboy, The last picture show and Peggy Sue got married. This film, however, centers around a woman feeling very for herself. And that is definitaly not entertaining on ANY level. It is just plain boring. 1 out of 10.

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