Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.
The Vuillard family is no stranger to physical/mental illness, loss, and banishment. But when the matriarch becomes in need of a transplant, the whole family is forced to come together, emotional baggage and all, just in time for Christmas.
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
In the 1970s, a young transwomen, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age by leaving her Irish town for London, in part to look for her mother and in part because his gender identity is beyond the town's understanding.
The stories of Nora during a brief period when her father falls ill and of Ismaël while involuntarily committed to a mental institution for observation. Nora's in her 30s and has loved four men - her son Elias, Elias's deceased father, her own father, and Ismaël, a musician given to odd behavior with whom she lived seven years. She will soon marry a businessman. Faced with her father's death, Nora seeks out Ismaël to ask that he reconnect with Elias; a great deal else roils from her past. Ismaël has his own challenges, not the least of which are his feelings toward adopting Elias and his meeting Arielle, another patient. Ismaël's surface shows a lot; Nora's, very little. Written by
"Rois et reine" aka "Kings and Queen" (2004) directed by Arnaud Desplechin is a most unusual film that mixes expertly comical and tragic, unbearable and optimistic, life and death that are intertwined in the story of two former lovers whose lives have crossed once more when they least expected. Nora (Devos) has to take care of her dying father. Ismael (Almaric), a talented but neurotic musician (Roman Polansky + Woody Allen) is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital under the care of a clinical psychiatrist, forever young and still the most beautiful woman in the world, Catherine Denueve. ("Do you know that you are very beautiful"? - asked Ismael. "I've been told", smiles she). I still think about the movie - the complicated relationships between one woman and several men in her life - how much she affected them, sometimes, with tragic consequences. This is also the movie about perception - how big is the difference between the way we see ourselves and the others see us and what they think of us in reality. It is a movie about love - is it always blind? Is it possible to love deeply and see with the clear eyes? I was totally engrossed and heartbroken by some scenes involving Devos's caring for her dying father, by the flashbacks that tell about her relationship with the father of her son, and next minute I was laughing out loud following the Almaric's ordeal in a mental hospital and his attempts to escape. The movie could've been a gem but it is too long, has too many characters that were perhaps very interesting but I never knew what happened to them and it could be confusing due to its broken narrative which was OK by me but the final result even compelling and memorable was not completely satisfying. Both Mathieu Almaric and Manu Devos are marvelously talented actors and they were the main reason that overlong and confusing movie worked. I hope to see both Almaric and Devos in many more movies. I remember Devos since the first movie I saw her in - "Sur Mes Levres" and I knew then that she had all potentials to become a great actress. Her acting in "Rois et reine" confirmed my first impression.
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