Nicholas is the eldest son of a wealthy suburban family, whose businesswoman mother makes deals from a helicopter and has an affair with her business partner. His cheerful, alcoholic father... See full summary »
Nicholas is the eldest son of a wealthy suburban family, whose businesswoman mother makes deals from a helicopter and has an affair with her business partner. His cheerful, alcoholic father, on the other hand, is reduced to a prisoner in his room with his devoted dog and electric train set. Unbeknownst to his parents, Nicholas works as a window cleaner and dish washer in a Parisian cafe. He is also in love with the daughter of another cafe's owner, who, however, has an abusive boyfriend. One night, Nicholas sneaks a few drunken drifters into his family wine cellar and his father unexpectedly takes a liking to the stranger. Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
I saw this immediately following the same director's Falling Leaves and found it much more accessible. The twenty-odd year gap between the two films and the fact that this one was made in France as opposed to Georgia may, of course, have something to do with it. Again, the Georgian-born director (he made a point of saying he was Georgian and NOT Russian) introduced it - in fluent French yet - and described it as his most complicated film. It's a gently, meandering piece and at least half a dozen times you think, OK, that's it, a logical ending, only to have it spin out yet moor gossamer thread. There's a distant relationship with Renoir's The Rules Of The Game but only around the edges. It's about a disparate group of people whose lives intersect and sometimes, but not always, connect. Bizarre, eccentric, both could be fairly employed to describe some of the characters. Again the director chooses to spin his web around a young male, this time around the scion of a wealthy family who, for reasons best known to himself, works as a dishwasher in a restaurant - and an inept dishwasher at that; he's fired halfway through the film - and chooses friends from among the outcasts of society (again, we could, if we wanted to stretch a point, find a link with Boudu Saved From Drowning). Characters come and go on this patchwork quilt and some we find more interesting than others. None of the actors are well known but most are fairly competent and overall the film holds the attention.
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