I recently saw this at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film
Festival and it's a good film with some very good acting from Jean
Pierre Darroussin and Valérie Stroh in the principal roles. Veteran
French actor Darroussin makes his film debut as a director here with
his screenplay adaptation of the Emmanuel Bove novel and casts himself
in the role of Charles Benestau, a wealthy lawyer who after a divorce
gives up his life of luxury to live as a kind of hermit in a tenement.
He runs his law practice from his apartment through word of mouth
clientèle only since he has given up owning a phone. One of his clients
is an alcoholic wife abuser who lives in the tenement and sends his
wife into a coma after a brutal beating. She goes to the hospital and
he is off to jail so Benestau takes their teenage daughter to live with
him until the mother can recover and return home. Benestau's family has
ostracized him for dropping out of society and living like a poor
commoner and more problems arise between he and the housekeeper who has
agreed to help him look after the girl. It's small film with Darroussin
in a fine performance as kind, giving man who always tries to do the
noble and right thing but health issues has made him a fatalist. It's a
good film and I would give it a 7.0 out of 10.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?