The resident misogynist on films de France, not so much toeing as licking the Party line has panned this which is, of course, all the more reason to seek it out. Sandy Leclere is a new and exciting talent and has already charmed and entertained us with Les Soeurs fachees and La Prix a Payer and now she adds a third string to her bow with a much more dramatic strain. Leclere has led a charmed life in terms of casting; as an unknown she gave the screenplay of Les Soeurs fachees to Isabelle Huppert, who she knew only as a fellow mother at the school gate, and before she knew it she had secured the services of not only Huppert but also Catherine Frot. She lined up an equally talented and starry cast for the follow-up and this time around she has laid a great trio of actresses on us in the shape of Josie Balasco, Marina Fois and Mathilde Seigner. Though short of drop-dead gorgeous, the two younger actresses are certainly more than attractive ... normally. Here they appear to go out of their way to personify Drab, Dull, Uninteresting. This is in keeping with the roles they are playing, thirty-something sisters, still bitter at the way their mother destroyed her husband's life and, for an encore, abandoned them. Though both now in what appear to be fairly solid relationships they still can't let go of the idea of a reconciliation with the mother from hell. Having orchestrated a meeting in which it is clear within moments that Balasko is still as self- centered as she ever was, the sisters literally kidnap her in an effort to 'make' her show them some affection. Of course this is a non-starter because if it was that easy ... Leclere, as always, coaxes some great performances from all three actresses and demonstrates that she is equally sure-footed with stories of more substance.
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