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 »
Given up for adoption as a toddler, troubled teenager Thomas becomes obsessed with tracking down his birth mother. After years of searching, Thomas finds her single, with a small child, ... See full summary »
Jean, his loving wife and son live a simple, happy life. At his son's homeroom teacher Madamoiselle Chambon's request, he volunteers as substitute teacher and starts to fall for her ... See full summary »
In a small town in post-World-War-II France, an unhappy sixteen-year-old (Janine Castang) tries to escape her dreary situation by any means at her disposal. Three successive friends (Michel... See full summary »
Simon de La Brosse
Cecile and Julien begin their new life together. Julien works long hours in a video library, a world full of pictures. Coming home late one night, he encounters a young, beautiful, ... See full summary »
Young woman who lives under the gaze of her overprotective stepmother falls for a young man she meets. He is infatuated by her beauty, but is also a sociopath. She wants to leave her stepmother's hold and he is ready to kill.
David is an accountant. He leaves town every Friday, pretending he is going to take care of his parents at their old people's home. But actually his parents are dead, and he spends the ... See full summary »
Charlotte (Gainsbourg) is being raised without a mother. She is only 13 but ready to be an adult. She meets an older boy and begins a relationship while teaching a young friend about life and learning the ropes herself.
After he learns that a heart attack may be imminent, Pierre Francois, an old psychiatrist, becomes physically attracted to Odile, a sensuous young woman. Odile later uses their relationship... 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 »
Sometimes the hardest things are so simple. A lost child is surely irreplaceable, isn't it? Well, that depends on how unconventional you're prepared to be. And if you've got no money but you're left looking after your sugar mommy's house, how to make ends meet? Depends how good a con artist you are. And if your mother presents you with a horribly unwanted gift which you can't return without getting you or her into deep, deep trouble? Maybe it will grow on you. Point of view is everything.
Three people with three problems. But that's just scratching the surface. Mothers, daughters, lovers, husbands, doctors, policemen, smugglers: all of life is here.
Adapted from Ruth Rendell's book "The Tree Of Hands", this French film presents lives less as part of a tree and more as a spider's web. A little tug here leaves a permanent distortion over there and a gap on the far side. Rarely can cinema have produced such a dramatic, amusing yet tense demonstration of the old saw "No man is an island" (though since most of the central protagonists here are female, the well-meaning but philologically-challenged PC lobby might wish for a slight re-phrasing).
With all these "Other Stories" around, there are two obvious potential pitfalls. Switch from story to story too quickly and you just confuse your audience; do it too slowly and they might fail to see the connections. Fortunately this film strikes the perfect balance; admittedly it does this by sacrificing a certain depth of character in some cases, but this simply leaves us wishing this were merely the first installment of a trilogy, or rather, chronologically speaking, the second. It would be interesting to find out how these characters got to where they are now, and, given the way that their actions have such dramatic effects on each others' lives, equally interesting to see how that spider's web changes shape in the future. Given that Betty Fisher herself ends the film about to start a completely new life, anything could happen. 8/10.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?