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 »
Look at the French title. "Histoire" means story and, as with the English word, implies all story's synonyms. "Histoire," then, can serve as a perhaps gentler "lie." So, "Betty Fisher and Other Stories:" It's a film whose plot is constructed of linked plots, a film in which strangers' stories intersect in ways we've come to think of as Altmanesque. But also, more intriguingly, "Betty Fisher and Other Lies:" Everybody's story involves a lie. Or everybody is a lie.
I booted up here, just now, fearing I'd only pan the film. The round-robin plot relies on glaring improbabilities and deux ex machina transpositions. It's so strongly plotted, I'd thought to say, it could probably survive one of those English language remakes, and weakly enough drawn in many of its characters that a such a remake might stand a rare chance of bettering it. Nonetheless, make a project of finding the "lie" in each character's "histoire." Which characters tell lies? Which lie to themselves, which to others, which to both? Is any character totally sincere? Is any character pure lie?
I'm not entirely sure whether it's the case of an actor stranded in an outrageously unbelievable plot, or of an actor acting for all she's worth to realize that plot, but Betty's plain-faced, ever-stricken, ever-lost expression, more than anything else in the film, stays with me. Though one needs a little French to appreciate it, "Alias Betty" may actually be a quite complex translation.
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