Violette Leduc, born a bastard at the beginning of last century, meets Simone de Beauvoir in the years after the war in St-Germain-des-Prés. Then begins an intense relationship between the ... See full summary »
The premise of this piece should send a shudder into viewers. In fact it is handled quite well given the nature of the material, which, as some reviewers are aggrieved about, is not a bourgeois English experience of utter predictability.
It breaks the stereotype in two ways. It's a bitter experience for the two leads after years of marriage and still finding they care for each other through the layers of boredom. That friction adds something interesting, not great, but not entirely stale. The leads carry it well.
It also poaches some ideas from Godard's "Band a part" (The Outsiders). Well, so did Tarantino, and more obviously, but this is quote as the ending sequence makes plain as the man characters do the Madison from that film of the nouvelle vague.
It's a baby boomer experience to never grow old and Lindsay Duncan as Anna Karina, or Jim Broadbent as Sami Frey make a jarring, though amusing, nod to another time; a time which Anglo-Saxon audiences return again in French cinema.
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