Sylvie is a hooker whose illegitimate daughter commits a crime. She and her daughter flee to find Sylvie's first love in the countryside. The daughter is trying to get to know her unwilling mother. Along the way, the two meet a male fugitive and bond with each other. Written by
Isabelle Huppert: An Amazingly Fine Actress in a Glowing Role
LA VIE PROMISE is one of those films that begs multiple viewings: the cinematography is truly an art form here, the story though incredibly well told (written by director/ co-author Olivier Dahan with Agnès Fustier-Dahan) requires integration of the viewer's thinking to capture the interstices of understated depth of the tale, an the acting of Isabelle Huppert is simply one of the finest moment on film. Rave review? Yes, and well deserved! Sylvia (Huppert, who has never been more beautiful before the camera) is a prostitute with an edge in Nice: she accepts her profession but acts with the elements of a seasoned streetwalker, always fully in charge of any situation. She is a woman with a past. She was once married to Piotr (Andre Marcon) in northern France (Viale) but had a nervous breakdown eight years ago concurrent with the birth of her son, the apparent reason for her fleeing to Nice. Now her teenage epileptic daughter Laurence (Maud Forget) appears, having been scattered through foster homes because her mother doesn't want her around, and Sylvia once again throws her out. But Laurence is hiding in Sylvia's flat when her pimp visits demanding money, and Laurence kills him. The mother and daughter then flee Nice afraid of the murder consequences and travel toward northern France by walking hitchhiking, bus - any means possible to avoid the police. Sylvia has decided to search for her eight-year old son and for Piotr, hoping they may afford them protection. Along the way they meet Joshua (Pascal Greggory), an escaped convict who befriends them and encourages the growing bond between mother and daughter and eventually provides their arrival at their destination. The concluding moments of the story are the stuff of great drama and should not be revealed to the viewer.
Throughout the film the integration of art photography and music enhances the mood of the story: Bach, Mendelssohn, Debussy and mixed with contemporary American blues and the mixture deserves a CD release. But the overriding star of this entire production is the radiant Isabelle Huppert, one of our finest actresses of today, in a role that, though nearly impossible to make credible, in Huppert's hands becomes a woman whose damaged psyche becomes permanently imprinted on our memories. It is a tour de force of acting of the highest caliber. Highly Recommended to lovers of Art Films. Grady Harp
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?