The end and beginning of the love of the French couple Marion and Gilles is disclosed backwards through five moments in their lives: 1st moment: They divorce and have one last brutal intercourse without love. 2nd moment: With their relationship shaken, they have a dinner party with Gilles's gay brother Christophe and his younger mate, when an infidelity is disclosed at the dinner table. 3rd moment: The troubled pregnancy of Marion and the delivery of their premature son Nicolas, with the total absence of Gilles. 4th moment: Their wedding, when Marion commits adultery with an unknown guest of the hotel. 5th moment: When they meet each other in an Italian resort and begin their relationship.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is one of the most resonant films I have seen for a long time. Superb performances by both leads and a simple but very effective structure. To begin at the end and move backwards to look at moments, glimpses, fragments is such a simple device yet devastatingly effective as demonstrated with such expertise by Ozon here. I found certain moments deeply moving such as the physical assault on his wife. It seemed like a desperate attempt by the husband to try and claim power over his wife. But we know that the relationship is in the final throes of death. I loved the scene on the wedding night when she looks at her mother and father who we have previously seen rowing, just dancing alone at the reception. Somehow you know that their relationship will last and there is hope for them. The adultery the wife commits seemed to work although at first I thought it too contrived. Her pleasure on seeing her husband and love for him as he sleeps when she creeps back into the room felt very real. For me however the most beautiful and most moving sequence was the end when they first meet. It was wonderfully set up and echoed real life so well. It is always a series of events, a chain that causes all the pieces to fall in the right place and the couple to meet. It such a subtle scene when they talk on the beach as we know they are about to fall in love. When they walk into the golden sea bathed in light the two are literally becoming one as they embark on a new chapter in both their lives. The beauty of the scene is made more powerful by the conflicting emotion in our minds as we know that this love will be destroyed. How can something so perfect ever diminish? What Ozon is saying is that all things must die, that surely it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Go and see this film. It is marvellous.
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