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Mathieu Liévin is an architect whose life seems stable and ideal. He is a quiet man, is in business with his girlfriend and seems very successful. As is ailing mother reaches the palliative stage of her illness, his life is about to change drastically. When he crosses a former lover on the street, the two of them begin a passionate and destructive affair.
This relatively well acted film suffers from a slightly muddled plot and weak characters. At its heart, the biggest problem is that writer/director Cédric Kahn seems unable to decide whether this is a film about Mathieu or a film about Mathieu and his lover Maya. This weakness is constant throughout the entire movie up to the very ending and I am surprised a French director would not even notice this fault back at the writing stage and commit one way or the other. Right off the bat, this is frustrating because any writer who does not know what he is writing about can't create a lasting and quality film experience.
The second fault (related to the first) is that it is difficult to empathize with Maya, and the depressed and bland characterization by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi make it even very difficult to imagine Mathieu would feel so passionately about her. She is unattractive, lifeless, moody.
One must suppose that the trial of losing his mother is what is affecting Mathieu so strongly but if it is so, it is rather vaguely implied.
Where the movie shines is in certain scenes showcasing how desperate and wild people will get when passion overcomes an individual, affecting reason. It was particularly interesting to watch Mathieu seemingly act like a teenager, throwing himself over running cars and generally acting like an hormone-crazed younger man.
But to the very disappointing end, Les Regrets never ever commits to themes that it wants to explore. The whole structure is very much that of French art cinema but the artistry on display here is all style, no substance.
Giving it a 3 because Attal was rather convincing in certain scenes.
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