Three men, three women, opposites, possibilities, and tastes. Castella owns a industrial steel barrel plant in Rouen; Bruno is his flute-playing driver, Franck is his temporary bodyguard ... See full summary »
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Josse De Pauw,
Eva van der Gucht,
Werner De Smedt
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Three men, three women, opposites, possibilities, and tastes. Castella owns a industrial steel barrel plant in Rouen; Bruno is his flute-playing driver, Franck is his temporary bodyguard while he negotiates a contract with Iranians, his wife Angélique does frou-frou interior decorating and loves her dog. The conventional Castella hires a forty-year-old actress, Clara, to tutor him in English, and he finds her and her Bohemian lifestyle fascinating. Is this love? What would she say if he declared himself? Through Bruno, Franck meets Manie, a barmaid who deals hash. They begin an affair. Are they in love? They joke about marriage. As the women hold back, the men must make decisions. Written by
What a joy to find a film written and acted by Adults to inform and entertain Other Adults. Matrix-loving-popcorn heads can give this one a miss and hurry to the next American Pie infantalia. What a joy, too, to realize that the Cesars got it right this time around and handed this entry a bagful. There is so much to ENJOY here from the circular storyline - Castella owns a factory and employs a chauffeur and a bodyguard. His wife drags him to the theatre where a neice is appearing in 'Berenice', a French classic in verse. Castella is a complete philistine from the shoes up and would rather give the play a miss and come back for the curtain. BUT, surprise, surprise, playing the lead is Clara Davaux, a woman he had interviewed as an English teacher and dismissed without a second thought. Now, he sees her in a new light and falls in mid-life crisis. Clara drinks and eats in a bar where Manie works. Manie deals on the side. Castella drops in for a bite to eat with chauffeur and bodyguard. It seems that the chauffeur has had sex with Manie and does not remember. They resume their relationship whilst Castella now books English lessons from Clara like there's no tomorrow. The chauffeur introduces Manie to the bodyguard and before long he and Manie are in the sack as well. All roads lead back to Castella and after being attacked he winds up in Manie's bathroom for some tlc. By now he has declared his feelings for Clara and been deep-sixed, yet when she stars as Hedda Gabler she longs to see him in the audience. The acting is so perfect it makes your teeth ache. The scene where Castella reads Clara a poem he has written for her is painful to watch because it is written and acted with such honesty. Both writers - Jean-Pierre Bacri (Castella) and Agnes Jaoui (Manie), who also directed, have not flinched from writing scenes in which they come off the worse for wear. Of course, with the track record of Jaoui and Bacri - before this they wrote and starred in On Connait le Chanson and Un air de famille - you expect only the finest and that is what they deliver here, even Bacri's character name, Castella, has overtones of Bob Castella, the great pianist-composer who was, for decades, the accompanist for Yves Montand. I can only guess whether any homage was intended but whether or not it is just another bonus to an unforgettable film. This was Jaoui's debut as director and her second effort (working title: Comme d'un Image, is now in the Cutting Room. She's gonna have a tough time eclipsing this one but if she DOES ... 10/10
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