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In an airport hotel on the outskirts of Paris, a Silicon Valley engineer abruptly chucks his job, breaks things off with his wife, and holes up in his room. Soon, fate draws him and a young French maid together.
The thwarted loves of Jean Cocteau and Raymond Radiguet, in the early 1920s. The death of Radiguet who did Cocteau sink in opium. A story under the influence of drug. A narrative description in the mind of Cocteau. A musical.
Broken couple, broken riders, broken horses... life is incredibly harsh for the characters of this movie. Alexandra (Mathilde Seigner), a horse rider, has lost at the same time her jumping competition's horse, her fickle husband Paul (Antony Delon) killed in a car accident on the way to the hospital where she has been taken after her fall. The horseman (Samy Frey) is broken by his falls, by the time and the loneliness. The horse has been broken by a bad dressage, mindful of profits and quick results. The Spanish lad Miguel (Jean-François Pignon) is also under repair from his work as a stuntman.
Did someone around say "A Horse Whisperer in French!"? Indeed there are riders and horses in this movie, but no, nobody whispers: "I'm not a whisperer, I watch!" In fact, those broken creatures yell with pain, most of the time silently! And the horsemanship operated here is closer to Captain Étienne Beudant's teaching (a famous French horseman in the twenties: "Hand without legs, legs without hand!") than to the trendy school of "Natural Horsemanship", but the principles are all the same: to leave the horse acting naturally, to teach it by compassion and rewards instead of force and constraint, and to teach the rider to watch and to "feel" his horse.
The movie tells the story of the difficult convalescence of these characters. As usual, Samy Frey is the great and subtle actor we know. Mathilde Seigner plays beautifully opposite him and that marvelous dark stallion is an incredible actor! I gave 7 on 10 because of some clumsiness in the screenplay.
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