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Va Savoir (Who Knows?) (2001)

Va savoir (original title)
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Quick-witted, well-read cultured types revolve around each other in a delightful potpourri of theatre, romanticism and theft.

Director:

Jacques Rivette

Writers:

Pascal Bonitzer (scenario), Christine Laurent (scenario) | 3 more credits »
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne Balibar ... Camille B.
Marianne Basler Marianne Basler ... Sonia
Hélène de Fougerolles ... Dominique 'Do'
Catherine Rouvel Catherine Rouvel ... Madame Desprez
Sergio Castellitto ... Ugo
Jacques Bonnaffé Jacques Bonnaffé ... Pierre
Bruno Todeschini ... Arthur
Claude Berri ... Librarian
Attilio Cucari Attilio Cucari ... Salter
Bettina Kee Bettina Kee ... Mop
Luciana Castellucci Luciana Castellucci ... Lena
Emanuele Vacca Emanuele Vacca ... Salesio
Arturo Armone Caruso Arturo Armone Caruso ... Bruno
Valéria Cavalli ... Ines
Fausto Maria Sciarappa ... Silvio
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Storyline

The theatre world is a familiar setting for the films of Rivette. In Va savoir, the characters, all quick-witted, well-read and cultured types, revolve around each other in a delightful potpourri of theatre, romance and theft. In the end, everything lands on its feet and they all get the partner they deserve, but before then, long filmer Rivette takes two and a half hours to dwell lightly on the vicissitudes around the six protagonists. Camille is an actress with an Italian company that is in Paris to perform a play by Pirandello, Come tu mi vuoi. Her boyfriend Ugo is the director and the company's most important actor. Both have a hidden agenda for their trip to Paris: Camille meets her ex Pierre, a professor of philosophy, while Ugo is secretly researching a supposedly lost play by Goldoni. In the archives, he is assisted by the charming student Do, who steals his heart. In turn, Do has a link with Pierre: her stepbrother, the playwright Arthur, namely steals an expensive ring from ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

France | Italy | Germany

Language:

French | Italian

Release Date:

10 October 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Va Savoir (Who Knows?) See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$43,010, 30 September 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$907,323, 31 March 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are important contradictions between the french and the italian version about the two languages spoken in the movie. The original french version is totally spoken in french, except for the following italian speaking scenes:
  • just one dialogue between Jeanne Balibar and Sergio Castellitto (who dubbed himself in this version);
  • all the scenes concerning the italian play which the main characters act in.
In the italian version:
  • the dialogues involving only french actors are not dubbed and are subtitled in italian;
  • in the scenes involving Sergio Castellitto and the french cast, all the french actors are dubbed in italian with a french accent;
  • all the dialogues between Jeanne Balibar (who dubbed herself in this version) and Sergio Castellitto are in italian.


All that it goes with it is that Sergio Castellitto in the original version is clearly fluent in french, while in the italian's he's not able to speak this language, because all the french characters seems to have the courtesy to speak italian with him. See more »

Goofs

A child and a bicycle in the background disappears between shots in the park. See more »

Quotes

Ugo: What is he to you, this Pierre?
Cammille B.: I lived with him before, before I - I lived with him when I was in Paris. He liked the play. He's not a bore, you know.
Ugo: No, he's a good man. How long did you live with him?
Cammille B.: Two years. Almost two years. But not quite.
Ugo: What did it do to you to see him? Do you still love him?
Cammille B.: No.
See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Senza Fine
Written by Gino Paoli / Alec Wilder
Sung by Peggy Lee
Performed by Lou Levy (piano)
John Pisano (guitar)
Charles Berghofer (bass)
Stan Levey (drum)
Avec l'autorisation de BMG Music Vision et d'EMI Music France
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining and Impressive
9 January 2004 | by GasperUKSee all my reviews

Having read many of the comments of "Va Savoir" here, (admittedly mostly from the other side of the Atlantic), I was surprised by the amount of hostility towards this film.

Whilst I admit that it may have benefited from a little judicious editing, perhaps down to around two hours, this seems to me to be a well acted and entertaining slice of french life. The fact that the main characters are involved in the theatre is entirely secondary since their "real" lives depicted here are infinitely more interesting than the characters being portrayed in the Pirandello play. Perhaps that was the point.

There are enough sub-plots and unanswered questions relating to the fully rounded, three dimensional characters to keep the average viewer engrossed for the length of the film. They do not conform to stereotypes and it is not possible to pigeon-hole them. We find out much more about them as the film progresses. This is a film about people, their interwoven histories, and the formation of new relationships.

Jeanne Balibar's performance, seemed to me, complex and mature. Initially, I found her portrayal cold and unemotional, but this I believe was intentional and as the film progresses, she is revealed as a complicated and enigmatic character, capable of intense emotions but also of granting sexual favours just to create a diversion.

There is also a fine performance from Sergio Castellitto as Ugo, entirely convincing, except perhaps in his refusal to bed the truly delicious "Do" played by a ravishing Hélène de Fougerolles, (surely another French actress destined for greatness). Indeed, Jacques Rivette seems to have nurtured excellent performances all round.

Whilst this is not a perfect film, it offers more than enough to warrant a few short hours of your time. This is a fine French film, which will remain in your memory for sometime to come and compared with much of Hollywood's current output, is a mature and thought-provoking piece of film making. Open a good bottle of red Bordeaux and settle down with its cinematic equivalent.


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