Fine romantic drama starring "Raphaëlle Agogué" and other people :).
You can have it all: nice people in gorgeous settings, with great photography and in an epoch that we all like (la "belle époque).
This is a great film if you were ever intrigued by somebody, and didn't know why.
There are a few unexpected moments, the secondary characters like the great actress Ludmila Mikaël as a cool aunt "Odile" and Agathe Bonitzer as the faithful young forlorn love of Philippe Marcenat "Isabelle". The film stars him, Philippe, as the son of a great family company, "Marcenat papers", at Angoulême . Yes, some types of companies are bound to certain epochs, I guess this was a booming business in the XXth century, I wonder if they (Marcenat clan) could all enjoy this high standard of living ...now!
"Henriette", his mum, is my favourite character, snubbing her daughter-in-law for "she can't have children" and always thinking about keeping up appearances, of social mores. She is almost funny, from a distance, that is :). We all know people like Henriette, wanting everybody to obey what they want, nosy, and still ruled by XIX century morals. "Edmond", the "pater familias" is a tough company owner, like when he complains about workers asking for the 40 hour week: "What about productivity! We've given them all!" :).
The bohemian painter "François Crozant" is an interesting enigma, I leave it to the reader to guess him. Misa, Odile's friend (beautiful "Aurore Paris") is also a secondary character that turns out to trigger reactions in the main couple, the young Marcenat couple. Renée, the female doctor, is the third woman around Philippe in some way or other(Isabelle, Misa and the "socialist" doctor). Renée gets one of the "Henriette" comments: "You're not going to make a living out of taking care of workers!!" :) ...
The house itself, more like a country estate, is always present, thanks to "Denis Seiglan", the "décors" expert. It reminds me of a Mujica Lainez (an Argentine writer) novel called "the house".
This film was directed by a sister of Isabelle Huppert with distinction. One gets to know the "Charente" region. Based on a book by famous author André Maurois, script done by the director.
I leave for the end the main reason for which I watched this film, that is the charming Nimes-born Raphaëlle Agogué, known from the film "La rafle". Her character of Odile Malet is interesting because you never really know what she's up to. Her husband is mad with jealousy from the start, and that can drive anybody mad, but behind her understandable tantrums and fits of "painting in far away places" there is something wrong with her too. She was a suffering woman, it's hard to notice for we all pay attention to Philippe, who is violent when gets frustrated, unlike she that plays it cool. She is taller that any other character, including her husband.
Odille's father is also interesting, he knows her daughter more than we do. Also of interest are the "dances in the country" (Java), the luxury cars, the country palace, dresses (!). In short, an underdog of a TV film.
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