Villa Amalia is the story of Ann, a musician, whose life is turned upside down by a kiss. When she sees Thomas kissing another woman, Ann makes a clean break, leaving him and everything ...
See full summary »
A divorced mother of two boys reaching adulthood decides to sell their house, find love and get on with her life away from her husband and sons; a decision that will lead to an escalating fraternal dispute.
Louise, younger sister, natural and straightforward, lives in province; Martine, older sister, beautiful and aloof, lives in the Parisian upper middle class. Louise has written a novel. On ... See full summary »
1760s France. Suzanne is shocked when her bourgeois family sends her to a convent. There she faces oppression and torment, leading her to fight back and expose the dehumanizing effect of cloistered life.
After ten years abroad, Catherine returns to Luxembourg to catch up with her daughter Alba, brought up by Catherine's mother Elisabeth. She then kidnaps Alba and takes her on a trip to a lake up North.
Brigitte and Xavier are a couple of cattle farmers living and working together in Normandy. They have always got on well but now that their two children have left the household, routine and... See full summary »
In Lausanne, the aspirant pianist Jeanne Pollet has lunch with her mother Louise Pollet, her boyfriend Axel and his mother. Lenna leans that when she was born, a nurse had mistakenly told ... See full summary »
Drawing some intriguing parallels between the work of the prostitute and that of the psychiatrist-both have clients, both charge for sessions, both take on roles that serve the needs, ... See full summary »
Betty and Victor are a pair of scam artists. One day Betty brings in Maurice, a treasurer of a multinational company. Maurice is due to transfer 5 millions francs out of Switzerland, and ... See full summary »
Villa Amalia is the story of Ann, a musician, whose life is turned upside down by a kiss. When she sees Thomas kissing another woman, Ann makes a clean break, leaving him and everything else far behind her. Suddenly unsure of everything that seemed so certain, Ann knows only that she must change her life and become someone else to find herself. With her music and the friendship of Georges, who pops out of her distant past, she sets off on a journey that will take her to an island where the Villa Amalia stands.Written by
The Film Catalogue
A running, piano-playing beautiful Isabelle Huppert
One lonely night, Ann (Isabelle Huppert) follows Thomas to the house of another woman. She sees them passionately kiss on the doorstep before they go in. Ann is left standing outside, half hidden behind a tree in the front garden in a residential suburb of Paris. It all looks so homely and yet it is not hers. She knows she has to leave Thomas. And she realises it is perhaps time to leave everything. Thomas. Her home. Her career as a concert pianist. Her mother. Just leave.
The tortured character of Ann, from Pascal Quignard's novel, is one who wants to run, to disappear rather than fight and rebuild. As we watch her erase the traces of her Parisian life with Thomas, we wonder who this woman is. She is so selfish, cruel and harsh. We wonder what her relationship with Thomas could have looked like. There is clearly not much left of their love, if they ever shared it, which is perhaps what pushed him to the other woman in the first place. Their own house is cold as if there was never any warmth or love there. By the time we meet her old mother in Brittany, we can suspect that she might just be condemned to unhappiness if she does not take some radical action. But is running the solution?
We never really understand why she needs to erase all traces of her existence. Who does she think she needs to go into hiding for? Surely not for Thomas, I think he got the message when he was dumped. But then who? Her mother? She is no state to phone someone, let alone come searching for her. It can only be from one person - herself. By disappearing from the official radar, she expects to feel liberated. Liberated from a life she had grown into, because of herself, her parents and her brother's death. Freed from the feelings she held, the habits she had and the pressure of others.
But when she discards her old skin and finds a breath-taking little corner of the world in which to retreat, traces of her old life remain. Music still calms her temperament, even if her preference goes out to a sharp estranging piano repertoire. And where first she used to swim madly to rinse herself of her life, once fled, she almost rinses herself out of existence to be reborn. She always had the tools she required to save herself, but they had never really served her. Fundamentally, she is a tragic character, throwing doubt even on her efforts.
There is something of a farce in the whole reinvention process as it is portrayed. As she runs, taking trains, buses and boats through changing landscapes and switching clothes, we find ourselves in an escape presented as a thriller. But we know that is not the case, creating a friction between the tense music and imagery and the reality of the story. This is a weakness which does not do the story justice. With an actress as beautiful and as talented as Isabelle Huppert, she could have carried the movie on images alone. Expect to be somewhat depressed by the whole adventure, but also touched by voyage. For, besides the very first scene, seeing Thomas on that suburban doorstep kissing another, all the rest could have just played in her head. As one big daydream, a fantasy of running, of another life. Far away. It is a beautiful movie, for that, and a depressing one, for that. It is one of those movies which is perhaps best watched alone. But you will need a big screen...
28 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this