A pastoral setting opens the film, in which Monsieur Andesmas, an older man, is awaiting the arrival of a local man to go over the plans for adding a terrace to the sprawling property that sits high on a hill. From this perch, M. Andesmas can see the local town below. He has bought the place for his daughter, Valerie.
As Andesmas takes the scenery, he is visited by the daughter of Mr. Arc, a teen ager, who informs him the imminent arrival of her father. She sits with the old man, they talk, but she has to go. Memories invade M. Andesmas thoughts, where he is seen watching a wife that has left him for another man. This woman, Mme. Andesmas, has left Valerie behind in his care.
Then, a short time later, the wife of the illusive Arc comes to assure the old man her husband is coming. As they begin to talk, her relationship to her husband begins to emerge. Valerie Andesmas is involved with Arc and one can see how sad her situation is having lost the love of a man, something that parallels the situation of Andesmas.
The film, adapted from a Marguerite Duras novel, was written and directed by Michelle Porte. It is a small elegiac film about loss, and betrayal, told in a subtle way by Ms. Porte. Michel Bouquet plays the older gentleman who has seen too much in his life, and by Miou-Miou, who is the wife of the man who has been attracted to a much younger woman. The film is only 78 minutes and it is because of the strong presence of the two principals that one stays with the story as time flies by.
The cinematography of Dominique Le Rigoleur enhances the beauty of this rural part of France with distinction. The atmospheric music by Benjamin Moussay, blends well with the climate Ms. Porte gives to the film.
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