Nathalie teaches philosophy at a high school in Paris. She is passionate about her job and particularly enjoys passing on the pleasure of thinking. Married with two children, she divides her time between her family, former students and her very possessive mother. One day, Nathalie's husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. With freedom thrust upon her, Nathalie must reinvent her life.
Shortly before Nathalie goes to watch a movie there is a shot of Constance Rousseau who played the lead role in Mia Hansen-Løve's debut film. Hansen-Løve said she originally intended the shot to be of Félix de Givry who starred in her previous film, but she thought it would be too distracting to include him. See more »
Nathalie is shown walking through the mud flats exposed along the beach at low tide. As she walks, she is clearly following footprints. Since the mud was previously underwater, the footprints must be from a previous take of Isabelle Huppert walking along the same path. See more »
This is the first of the half dozen films Mia Hansen-Love has made that I have seen and I'm impressed. Helped enormously by the powerful and ever convincing central performance of the wonderful Isabelle Huppert, this is a slight but affecting movie. Thoughtful and thought provoking we are introduced to philosophy teacher Huppert who has a deft and loving touch when involved with her pupils and her more conservative and plodding, though not unlikeable, husband. Beautifully shot, the film floats rather than dwells upon the importance or otherwise of philosophy in one's life, the nature of politics and youthful rebellion and with the assuredness of director and lead actress nothing really perturbs even though there are potentially disturbing upsets along the way. There were a couple of instances that made me sit up and were possibly only included to help propel the film forward for in themselves they seemed most unlikely events. There is a stranger who gropes at Huppert in a cinema, follows her wench she changes seats and even onto the street where he kisses her fully against a wall. Does this really happen in Paris? Towards the end both Huppert and husband take it in turns to hold their daughter's new born baby each declaring it looks like them. Surely throughout the world the claim is by the parents that the child looks like the mother and by the mother that it may look like her parents. These two moments seem more vivid and inappropriate because the rest of the film is so placid but possibly their greater significance was lost on me. Very enjoyable little film nonetheless.
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