The dying aristocrat Jean-Renée decides to execute one of the treasured desires and invites in the lock theatrical company that its participants have rehearsed and have played the play before the only viewer - him.
At a wake one night in 1945, a group of aged women recall the life of one of their number. Sixty years before, Thérèse was barely 20 years old when she eloped with her boyfriend, Firmin, a ... See full summary »
There must be a reason I sat through this exercise in tedium... oh yeah, Laetitia Marie Laure Casta.
This comment may contain spoilers? It does contain spoilers, both for this and for other Laetitia Casta movies.
Stabbed in "Gitano," shot in "Rue des plaisirs" (even the director later regretted it), throat cut in "Luisa Sanfelice" ... say what you will about "Errance" (and please do), it's a relief to see Laetitia Casta in something where she DOESN'T die for once. But while her character survives to the end credits, the movie expires well before the finish.
The fault lies not with Laetitia, who's actually quite good as a young woman stuck in a marriage with France's biggest loser (Benoit Magimel) from 1968 to 1973; the blame for this lies firmly with writer-director Damien Odoul, who takes the most ponderous approach possible to the story (its pretensions can be perceived from the fact that the credits proclaim the movie to be "by Damien Odoul." Not "A Film by Damien Odoul" (all right, "Un film de..."), but "de Damien Odoul").
The man's odiousness - the husband's, not Odoul's - is set out from the opening scene where his wife is in danger of dying in childbirth and he's busy hanging around another woman, and generally acting like a shady character. Leaving aside the question of why anyone married to Laetitia Casta would go around cheating on her any day, let alone the day she gives birth (the teeth? That didn't bother us with Beatrice Dalle), the man is such a jerk and Casta's family is shown as so supportive that, coupled with Casta having more warmth with her on-screen son, you wonder why she doesn't try to leave the guy sooner than she does.
The movie carries on like this; he's a creep, she complains but can't bring herself to leave him for good... is this supposed to be a commentary on how women keep loving men they know they shouldn't? Is it supposed to suggest that people who work in real estate aren't to be trusted? (What a shocker.) What IS it supposed to be? Unless it was supposed to be boring and scuppered by some unfortunate performances, including Magimel - sometimes we're not sure whether to laugh or take them seriously. During the third act in 1973, Casta and Magimel dance to Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" (the movie has no original music, an approach which may work for "The Sopranos" but in this milieu just makes it more pretentious), and the late lamented Dusty packs more honest emotion into that song than the entire movie has in its 95 minutes... to quote Del Amitri, nothing really happens; nothing happens at all.
Eventually the guy gets killed by his Army friends - I think (I was too sleepy, not only because of the time, to care by then) - and it ends. It's nice to see that one of the production companies is called Wild Bunch - this is, after all, a French movie, and it was a French company that called itself CIBY 2000 after Cecil B. deMille - but it fits all too well that another of the companies is Arte, because "Errance" is arty all right, and in the worst way. Two stars only, and I repeat ONLY, because of Laetitia Casta's presence; if she had not been here, I would have considered the two-year delay in getting UK screenings (and the reaction it got in France) and behaved accordingly. She's beautiful, but this is oh so boring.
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