Grieving after the death of her young son Joseph, novelist Betty Fisher enters a dark depression. Hoping to bring her out of it, her mother Margot arranges to kidnap another child, Jose, to... See full summary »
Grieving after the death of her young son Joseph, novelist Betty Fisher enters a dark depression. Hoping to bring her out of it, her mother Margot arranges to kidnap another child, Jose, to replace the son Betty lost. Although she knows it's wrong, Betty accepts Jose as her new son. Meanwhile, Jose's mother Carole is looking for her son with the help of her boyfriend Francois and some of his criminal cohorts. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
In the scene in which Alex goes to the bookshelf and pulls down a book in which some money is hidden, all the books on that shelf are by Ruth Rendell, who wrote the book this film was based on. The cover of the French version of that book, entitled 'Jeux des Mains', is prominently displayed when he pulls down the book. See more »
Ruth Rendell's novel, A Tree of Hands, was, as most of her work is, brooding, obsessive, and menacing. In Claude Miller's hands, the book has become altogether expatriated. It is now chic, extremely clever, and quite amoral. In short, very French. Briefly, the lives of a successful novelist, bereft of her only child who has just died in a fall, and her mad mother, intersect with those of another mother, a barmaid, who neglects and abuses her child, another little boy, and her taciturn boyfriend. The film cuts briskly back and forth between these two worlds, from the novelist's lovely house in a wealthy Paris suburb, to the bar-resto, hangout for pimps and dealers, where the other woman is employed. It is driven by the mad logic of the novelist's mother and Miller's strength is the insidious way he inveigles the audience into accepting that logic as sane. This is certainly not Rendell, but it is a lot of fun--think a tighter, tauter, altogether more stylish Talented Mr Ripley. The three actresses who play the three mothers jointly won "Best Actress" award at the Montreal Film Festival where the film had its North American premiere.
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