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Fernando Fernán Gómez,
José María Prada
The theatre world is a familiar setting for the films of Rivette. In Va savoir, the characters, all quick-witted, well-read and cultured types, revolve around each other in a delightful potpourri of theatre, romance and theft. In the end, everything lands on its feet and they all get the partner they deserve, but before then, long filmer Rivette takes two and a half hours to dwell lightly on the vicissitudes around the six protagonists. Camille is an actress with an Italian company that is in Paris to perform a play by Pirandello, Come tu mi vuoi. Her boyfriend Ugo is the director and the company's most important actor. Both have a hidden agenda for their trip to Paris: Camille meets her ex Pierre, a professor of philosophy, while Ugo is secretly researching a supposedly lost play by Goldoni. In the archives, he is assisted by the charming student Do, who steals his heart. In turn, Do has a link with Pierre: her stepbrother, the playwright Arthur, namely steals an expensive ring from ... Written by
Written by Gino Paoli / Alec Wilder
Sung by Peggy Lee
Performed by Lou Levy (piano)
John Pisano (guitar)
Charles Berghofer (bass)
Stan Levey (drum)
Avec l'autorisation de BMG Music Vision et d'EMI Music France See more »
Having read many of the comments of "Va Savoir" here, (admittedly mostly from the other side of the Atlantic), I was surprised by the amount of hostility towards this film.
Whilst I admit that it may have benefited from a little judicious editing, perhaps down to around two hours, this seems to me to be a well acted and entertaining slice of french life. The fact that the main characters are involved in the theatre is entirely secondary since their "real" lives depicted here are infinitely more interesting than the characters being portrayed in the Pirandello play. Perhaps that was the point.
There are enough sub-plots and unanswered questions relating to the fully rounded, three dimensional characters to keep the average viewer engrossed for the length of the film. They do not conform to stereotypes and it is not possible to pigeon-hole them. We find out much more about them as the film progresses. This is a film about people, their interwoven histories, and the formation of new relationships.
Jeanne Balibar's performance, seemed to me, complex and mature. Initially, I found her portrayal cold and unemotional, but this I believe was intentional and as the film progresses, she is revealed as a complicated and enigmatic character, capable of intense emotions but also of granting sexual favours just to create a diversion.
There is also a fine performance from Sergio Castellitto as Ugo, entirely convincing, except perhaps in his refusal to bed the truly delicious "Do" played by a ravishing Hélène de Fougerolles, (surely another French actress destined for greatness). Indeed, Jacques Rivette seems to have nurtured excellent performances all round.
Whilst this is not a perfect film, it offers more than enough to warrant a few short hours of your time. This is a fine French film, which will remain in your memory for sometime to come and compared with much of Hollywood's current output, is a mature and thought-provoking piece of film making. Open a good bottle of red Bordeaux and settle down with its cinematic equivalent.
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