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 »
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.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?