Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brillia... Read allParallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.
The stories of Nora during a brief period when her father falls ill and of Ismaël while involuntarily committed to a mental institution for observation. Nora's in her 30s and has loved four men - her son Elias, Elias's deceased father, her own father, and Ismaël, a musician given to odd behavior with whom she lived seven years. She will soon marry a businessman. Faced with her father's death, Nora seeks out Ismaël to ask that he reconnect with Elias; a great deal else roils from her past. Ismaël has his own challenges, not the least of which are his feelings toward adopting Elias and his meeting Arielle, another patient. Ismaël's surface shows a lot; Nora's, very little. —<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Both moving and irritating : the work of a great auteur
How do you create a follow up to the two masterpieces that were "Comment je me suis disputé" and "Ester Kahn" (we won't talk about the dull "Léo... en jouant Dans la compagnie des hommes") ? You just listen to what your heart has to say, however hard and difficult it might be, and make no compromises. You don't fear to be misunderstood. You care about the audience but do not let them influence your work. You're a genius but you still have doubts, and these doubts make your art even better. "Rois et Reine" ("Kings and Queen"), Arnaud Desplechin's latest film, lasts 2h40mn and, in spite of its length and its harsh contents, is utterly entertaining, fascinating, moving and even funny. It does not fear to be (often) irritating and boring : the burlesque moments, for instance, are quite annoying, but then again, that's a personal point of view. The thing is, the storyline about Nora's relationship with her father and her ex boyfriend and her son, and then again Ismael's relationship with Nora's son and with his family are so powerful, they don't need more. Unfortunately, Desplechin is often reluctant to cut deep in his movie and as a result, "Rois et Reine" sometimes looks like a long, long ride. Add to that some unfortunate flash backs burdened by bad acting (the character of Pierre) and boy does the movie sound dull at times. Emmanuelle Devos and Mathieu Amalric, finding here the roles of a lifetime, are absolutely fascinating. When in the end, Nora discovers the secret pages of her father's diary, or when Ismael spends an afternoon with Nora's son, it's devastating. I've rarely seen a movie that translates human emotions so beautifully. Just for that, "Rois et reine" is a must see.
- Dec 7, 2004
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