5.6/10
2,454
13 user 29 critic

Novo (2002)

Graham struggles to connect the pieces of his shattered short-term memory. Unable to recall the most basic facts of his life and his sexual past, he quickly falls prey to the erotic appetites of the women he encounters.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Eduardo Noriega ... Graham / Pablo
Anna Mouglalis ... Irène
Nathalie Richard ... Sabine
Éric Caravaca ... Fred
Paz Vega ... Isabelle
Lény Bueno Lény Bueno ... Antoine
Julie Gayet ... Julie
Agathe Dronne Agathe Dronne ... Céline
Bernard Bloch Bernard Bloch ... Docteur Sagem
Vincent Dissez Vincent Dissez ... Simon
Catherine Bidaut Catherine Bidaut ... Nadine
Pascal Tokatlian Pascal Tokatlian ... Gérard
Dominic Gould ... Gilles
Stéphanie Picard Stéphanie Picard ... La serveuse
André S. Labarthe André S. Labarthe ... L'homme au musée
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Storyline

Those who loved Graham yesterday shouldn't count on today. Those who love him today risk being heartbroken tomorrow... Suffering from recurring memory loss, Graham is restricted to a limited short-term memory. He forgets most things after only a few minutes. He no longer recognizes his wife Isabelle nor his young son Antoine nor his best friend Fred. Since each day is a new day, Graham copes with life by referring to the details of his little notebook, the defining key to his identity. He works as a photocopy clerk under the close watch of his sexy boss Sabine, who uses him to his libido's advantage. Pretty new temp Irene can't help falling for Graham's spontaneous charm. But how can Graham really fall in love with her when he sees each time as the first time? Irene is about to experience all new ways of romance. She'll just have to remember everything for the both of them. Everyone around Graham has their reasons why he should or shouldn't fully recover... Written by <intlpress@aol.com>

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Genres:

Drama | Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I Love My Man
Written by Billie Holiday
Performed by Billie Holiday
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User Reviews

what you see is what you get
19 May 2008 | by RResendeSee all my reviews

I think this is messy and out of focus. It tries to be too many things, and it fails to successfully achieve any of those.

This wanted to be love story told through a different angle. It wanted to play with memory as a creator of reality, or something able to define a certain reality. It wanted to establish ambiguity over motivations and over who is controlling, who is bending the reality of what we see. It wanted to use sex, and sexually moved characters (above all females) as a cinematic glue to all this I can think of various films for each of the "wannabe" i mentioned that manage to be more successful in their objectives than this one. I don't know one film that does well in mixing all this. And if i come to find one, i don't think it will be made by the authors of this one. At least not for what i saw here.

'Memento' played with the notions and the effects of short term memory, and memory loss much deeper. Here, we find the memory losses as the device to allow our character to become who his puppeteers want him to be. It is what it takes for him to be a puppet, to be unstable, to cast some doubt on who he is, what he wants. Noriega played the equivalent role in 'Abre los ojos', which was much more effective. I think for this purposes, 'Clean Slate' was a much better exploration of this!... Here we have links establish to monitoring our amnesic, the martial arts, the photos sessions, the block notes. But none of that is really used. The ending comes to unfold as a common romantic situation of gathering and decision on which woman the protagonist will elect (which you know who it is miles away from the ending).

So it ends as the love story the film also wanted to be. The 'woman who loves the man accepting him for what he is' plot. It's ordinary, but it is given a new clothing, in order to look new. But if you stop and think, there's absolutely nothing worth mentioning about this story. If you want renewed fresh ways to join a love environment and the creation of alternative realities, try Medem. In 'Los amantes...', in 'Lucia y el sexo', in 'La ardilla roja'. He can do that. By coincidence (or not), here we even have Medem's Lucia (Paz Vega) as the wife of the sick protagonist who, in his moments of memory recovery comes to speak Spanish...

Than we have the attempts to play with the forces controlling what we see. We know almost always as much as the main character. And practically every character (except the boy and the woman who loves the protagonist) have ambiguous intentions (apart from the fact that we take our time to understand where everybody fits, that's a good thing). We are given successions of facts we can't judge correctly. But than we come to understand that the film is moving nowhere, and what we see is what we get. No twist, no revelation, what it seems to be happening is really happening. It's not that we have to be deceived, but there should be some intention behind the idea of casting ambiguity in every corner of the stone. See 'Oldboy', if you want master work working these concepts.

My opinion: 2/5 this is messy, but it has some interesting concepts, if you start imagining where this could go.

http://www.7eyes.wordpress.com


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Details

Country:

France | Spain | Switzerland

Language:

French | Spanish

Release Date:

25 December 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

NOVO/ノボ See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$478,262
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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