5.3/10
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To the Extreme (2000)

In extremis (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 23 August 2000 (France)
Thomas is a bisexual man involved in several relationships. When suddenly one of his relationships, single mother Ann, dies, Thomas feels a responsibility towards her 13 year old son Gregoire. He tries to obtain custody.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sébastien Roch ...
Thomas
...
Anne
Jérémy Sanguinetti ...
Grégoire
...
Caroline
...
Vincent
...
L'avocat
Candice Hugo ...
Géraldine
...
Sophie
Rosette ...
La femme de la Ddass
Félix Baum ...
Charles
Bénédicte Rochas ...
La réceptionniste
...
Le jeune prof
Jean-Pierre Belissent ...
Le juge
Sandrine L'Ara ...
Assistante de Laurence
Sophie Mounicot ...
Laurence
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Storyline

Thomas is a bisexual man involved in several relationships. When suddenly one of his relationships, single mother Ann, dies, Thomas feels a responsibility towards her 13 year old son Gregoire. He tries to obtain custody.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

23 August 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

To the Extreme  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Choices and their ramifications
25 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The French title of this film is IN EXTREMIS (though translated as TO THE EXTREME) and means 'in desperate circumstances, especially at the point of death'. Rethinking the story of this interesting but problematic movie in those terms after viewing gives the cinematic effort more poignancy. This is a tale of the impact of family, loss of parents, dissolution of the core unit has on us all: in this story we are asked to exam the 'in extremis' state of such trauma.

Thomas (Sébastien Roch) is a hedonist, a handsome young man whose parents died in an Alpine accident, and a man who sleeps with both sexes in a confused state of true identity. He lives with one of his female lovers who has a young teenage son Grégoire (Jérémy Sanguinetti) whom he loves as a son. When the mother accidentally dies, Grégoire wants Thomas to be his guardian. Thomas' lifestyle does not lend itself to fatherhood and though he deeply loves Grégoire, by law and by proclivity he cannot assume the role of foster parent. Even with the aid of his prostitute sister Anne (Julie Depardieu) he is unable to keep the disappointed Grégoire from being sent to a prison-like orphanage. Thomas finds solace from his lover Vincent (Aurélien Wiik) and from his excursions into the bohemian all night orgies where he attempts to forget his promise to be available at all times for Grégoire. Eventually Thomas' devotion to Grégoire overcomes his hedonistic addiction and results in his aiding the boy's escape from the orphanage to move with him to the home in Ibiza his deceased parents owned. The story has a bizarre but touching ending, which comes totally unexpectedly, and revealing it would ruin the impact and message of the film.

Director/writer Etienne Faure ('Prisonnier', and 'À la recherché de Tadzio' which is included on this CD and traces the life of the actor Bjørn Andresen who played Tadzio in the film 'Death in Venice') directs his actors well but is less successful in finding the interaction of flashbacks, fantasies, graphic indulgences and superimposed poetry inundated with noisy music. But given these distractions the film still makes a simple case for the significance of family - genetic and extended - and therein is the power of the story. This is obviously the work of a young director with copious ideas about film and as such one can forgive many of the early experimental indulgences because the heart is in the right place. In French with English subtitles. Grady Harp


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