Thomas is slowly dying. He has accepted this and has decided to wait for his death on the coast, at the house where he spent his childhood. His imminent death will nevertheless cause catastrophe for those around him, forcing them to re-examine their own existence, and thus prompt change in the course of their own lives. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Breaking with the visual pyrotechnics and operatic flourishes he's been associated with in the past, this devestatingly intimate drama solidifies Patrice Chereau's reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. The simple story (adapted by Chereau and Anne-Louise Trividic from Philippe Besson's novel) deals with two somewhat estranged brothers -- one gay, one straight -- who become reconciled when one of them (the straight one) contracts a rare blood disease and begins the process of dying. As the slightly smug, high-living brother brought low by death Bruno Todeschini is excellent as always. But the revelation is Eric Caravaca as the surviving brother. His fresh, unfussy performance grows in power as the situation goes from bad to worse. Catherine Ferran as the perfectly professional, but utterly unhelpful, doctor in charge is quietly frightening. Chereau regulars Sylvain Jacques and Pascale Greggory drop in for a telling turn or two, and Maurice Garrel (father of filmmaker Philippe Garrel) has a few nice scenes as an old man they meet at their beach house. But over all it's primarily a two-hander of intense intimacy. There's no music until the climax when the voice of Marianne Faithfull let's loose on the soundtrack with a song she co-wrote with Angelo Bandalamenti. And when the end credits finally roll you'll probably find yourself staggering out the door like I did. If you've ever lost someone close to you you'll feel this movie right inside your skin.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?