2 user 21 critic

The Salt of Tears (2020)

Le sel des larmes (original title)
1:35 | Trailer
A provincial youngster who travels up to Paris to sit an entrance exam for a "grande école". His path crosses that of a young woman and they strike up a short-lived relationship.


Philippe Garrel
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Logann Antuofermo Logann Antuofermo ... Luc
Oulaya Amamra ... Djemila
André Wilms ... Le père de Luc
Louise Chevillotte Louise Chevillotte ... Geneviève
Souheila Yacoub Souheila Yacoub ... Betsy
Martin Mesnier Martin Mesnier ... Paco
Teddy Chawa Teddy Chawa ... Jean-René
Aline Belibi Aline Belibi ... Alice
Michel Charrel Michel Charrel ... Le réceptionniste hôtel
Stefan Crepon Stefan Crepon ... Victor
Lucie Epicuero Lucie Epicuero ... Lucie
Alice Rahimi Alice Rahimi ... Jasmine
Alban Guyon Alban Guyon ... L'examinateur
Gaetan Garcia Gaetan Garcia ... Elève examen
Hammou Graïa Hammou Graïa ... Le père de Djemila


Driven by his desire to become a cabinetmaker, Luc arrives in Paris. Lost in the banlieues, he asks Djemila for directions. In the girl's shyness, Luc glimpses the chance of an adventure. The two meet again but then Luc has to return home to his father, who is also a carpenter. There, he meets Geneviève, whom he knows from the past, and begins a romance with her. When Luc is offered a place at the renowned furniture-making school École Boulle, he follows his dream and moves to Paris, leaving Geneviève behind. Soon, a third young woman enters his small apartment, bringing the freedom of the big city with her. Written by Berlinale

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The movie was chosen by "Cahiers Du Cinéma" Magazine for Top Ten Films of 2020. See more »

User Reviews

Except for the last line, a fine movie
30 January 2021 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

This is the story of a charming, easy-going young man, Luc, who enjoys having a regular (female) sex-partner. That's pretty much all we ever find out about him, which could be seen as a downside of this generally enjoyable movie. Because Luc is so charming and easy-going, he has no problems meeting young women in different cities who are eager to become his sex buddy, almost right off the bat. That suits him just fine, until a lack of responsibility on his part causes him problems.

A provincial bedmate of his, Geneviève, informs him that she is pregnant. He asks "de quoi?" (with what?), and when she informs him of the obvious, he accuses her of having trapped and betrayed him. From this we would have to conclude that they were having what we now call "unprotected sex," and that he had just been assuming the young woman was taking birth control pills or something along the same lines, such that he did not have to do anything to avoid a pregnancy. (He is in no position financially to support a child.)

A young woman in the Paris suburbs, Djemila, who falls for him when he comes to the capital to take an entrance exam, agrees to a (cheap) hotel room tryst for a weekend (she will have to pay), but when Geneviève "forces" Luc to go to a party with her, he doesn't bother to call Djemila to tell her he won't be able to join her. She is, of course, broken hearted.

And so things go. He meets another young woman in Paris once he starts school there, Betsy. She convinces him to let one of her colleagues, Paco, stay with them. Luc discovers that Betsy is also having sex with Paco, but he just sort of lets it ride.

As you might imagine, eventually Luc's world falls apart, since he seems to live in a perpetual haze of niceness and nonchalance.

There are lots of things one could criticize here, I suppose. Luc wants to follow in his father's footsteps as a menuisier (cabinet maker), but we never find out why, and never hear why it's so important to him that he would decide to go to Paris for three years to get a diploma in it from the most select school in France. (No, it doesn't seem that he's just looking for an excuse to party away from home like too many American college students.) Nor do we learn much about his relationship with his father. As a result, there isn't a lot to Luc, for us, other than the fact that he enjoys having sex. For a 100-minute movie, that's not a lot of character development. The three women he has sex with are developed even less.

All that said, I wasn't bored, and found the whole thing pleasant. Just the way the young women found Luc. I really wish someone would have told the director that Luc's last line in the movie, as it is, comes out of nowhere and really strikes a false note.

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France | Switzerland



Release Date:

20 January 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Salt of Tears See more »


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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