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Claire Darling (2018) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • In Verderonne, a small village in the Oise, it's the first day of summer and Claire Darling wakes up convinced to live her last day - She then decides to empty her house and brade everything without distinction, Tiffany lamps to the collection clock. The objects so loved echo her tragic and flamboyant life. This last madness brings back Mary, her daughter, whom she has not seen for 20 years.


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Synopsis

  • An old lady, Claire Darling wakes up upon hearing voices. She gets ready for the day, a special day. The lady that delivers her breakfast looks like she saw a ghost, as Mrs Darling is a recluse who hasn't been seen for years. Today, Mrs Darling decided to clear out her beautiful house, full of antiques, paintings and objects d'art. Without sentimentality she even gets rid of her precious music boxes - some of them 100 years old. She flits in and out of memories, mistaking a young man helping out as her son, Martin. The other youngsters work at the town quarry her husband used to manage. Money is no object to her and she hands them more money to work for the day. More and more family heirlooms pile into the garden and opportunists come to buy antiques for 50 cents. A friend of her daughter Marie drops in and is bewildered by the impromptu garage sale. She tries to buy back things from buyers leaving. She saves one of the music boxes, leading her to remember her first time as a little girl, entering the house and being captivated by the beautiful things. She remembers the way Mrs Darling lovingly showed her her collection. She calls her childhood friend Marie to come back. Marie comes back from Paris obviously frustrated at seeing strangers carry off a painting of her grandmother and family furniture. The reunion between mother and daughter is frosty. Mrs Darling says at least this sale forced her daughter to come back after so many years away. Marie asks her mother why she is doing this; Mrs Darling states today is the day she will die. Mrs Darling still harbours a grudge about the family ring Marie stole. The accusation riles Marie - she insists she never took the ring but left it in her father's desk. Mrs Darling drifts into another memory of her husband having money issues and hiding money in books by the desk. Their marriage is strained as she wants more money for her collection and accuses him of wasting her fortune. Marie remembers the vicious fight with her mother as a teenager where her mother coldly pushes her away, and how Marie left town and her family. Meanwhile Marie leaves town as all the sadness and memories flood her. She only turns back when she remembers a memory of Martin and her walking home as teenagers from the quarry. They meet Amir a friend. Martin talks about his love of insects as they take a shortcut home. Marie decides to return home and enters Martin's room to reminisce. The adult Amir, now a policeman comes by to check in on Mrs Darling. He wonders if she recognises him this time. He has a happy reunion with Marie, but he is powerless to stop the garage sale. People discover old francs in the books, and a fracas ensues. Mrs Darling in a moment of clarity shouts at them all to leave. Finally Marie and Amir get rid of everyone. Mrs Darling then called the vicar George and asks him to come to the house this evening. Amir and Marie go to the quarry and Amir confides that he should have died instead of Martin. They were at the quarry and a bomb went off accidentally. Mrs Darling was depressed for a long time, shutting out Marie and blaming her husband. A flashback shows Mrs Darling lashing out at Mr Darling for being to blame for the death of their son. Her husband has a heartache and Mrs Darling calls the ambulance. Or did she? Or Did she kill him in her rage and grief? George the vicar arrives and Mrs Darling begs him, on their past relationship, to perform an exorcism. He refuses and leaves. Mrs Darling leaves the house to go the visiting circus but collapses and ends up in hospital. Marie is at her side when she wakes and Mrs Darling is finally warm to her daughter. She tells her she loves her. Marie shows her mother the ring she re-found that afternoon and Mrs Darling finally gives it to her. The family heirloom passed from grandmother to mother, to daughter - the only object she seems to value. Marie is overcome with emotion and hugs her mother. Only to be pushed away by her mother, always holding her distance. While Marie takes a break outside the hospital, Mrs Darling walks home through the circus, through the woods, seeing herself as a young married women. She gets home and sees George doing his exorcism. She puts the kettle on but fails to ignite the fire. She falls unconscious from the gas and a spark from the fireworks at the circus flies down the chimney and send the house and all within it up in a huge ball of flames.

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