Not everything is as it seems for Cristi, a policeman who plays both sides of the law. Embarking with the beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of corruption, treachery and deception.
Alice, a single mother, is a dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. Against company policy, she takes one home as a gift for her teenage son and names it after him but soon starts fearing it.
Hoping that self-employment through gig economy can solve their financial woes, a hard-up UK delivery driver and his wife struggling to raise a family end up trapped in the vicious circle of this modern-day form of labour exploitation.
'People seldom say no to Frankie' - an illuminating farewell
Director Ira Sachs (Kept the Lights On, Little Men, Forty Shades of Blue) wrote the screenplay with Mauricio Zacharias for this gentle whisper of a film that is one of the more subtle, visually impressive, and tender reflections on the subtleties of relationships and families to grace the screen.
Frankie (Isabelle Huppert) is a famous and much admired film actress who has gathered her dissipated family in Sintra, Portugal as a gesture of farewell: she is in Stage IV metastatic carcinoma. The ensemble includes her first husband Michel (Pascal Greggory) and her son by him Paul (Jérémie Renier), her present husband Jimmy (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter Sylvia (Vinette Robinson) her husband Ian (Ariyon Bakare) and granddaughter Maya (Sennia Nanua), along with Frankie's longterm hairdresser (from films) friend Ilene (Marisa Tomei) who is with her co-worker Gary (Greg Kinnear). The interweaving of these interesting personalities creates intimate side stories as they gather in this picturesque locale, the home of a magical fountain of life. Frankie has envisioned the way she hopes old connections among this disparate group of people will correct, and while those ideas don't materialize, the mysteries of companionship and love continue to find their own destinies.
The spectacularly sensitive cinematography by Rui Poças and the special atmosphere the music of Schubert's Moments Musicaux and Debussy's Arabesques allow the film to be pensive and understated. The quiet prolonged ending of the film is worthy of awards, so well sculpted by director Sachs that it allows the messages of the film to absorb in stillness.
In an age when high tech CGI, noisy action, and crude physicality films dominate the screens, this little film is a gentle reminder of those aspects of living that deserve out appreciation.
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