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Of the actors, the only ones which are immediately familiar to me are Daniel Auteuil and Catherine Deneuve. Auteuil is playing someone who has trouble expressing himself, a character he seems to specialize him, based on what I've seen of his films (JEAN DE FLORETTE/MANON OF THE SPRING and UN COEUR EN HIVER), and he does another fine job here. I've never been a fan of Deneuve; I usually find her too inexpressive and icy. Here, however, she plays a character you usually don't find in crime films; an older woman having an affair with someone younger (here, a woman) who isn't fading or scheming. She makes Marie, who at first seems didactic, fully human.
I can't say enough about Deneuve's performance; she has left the glamour behind in her 50's and just gives us one fine role after another. Marie makes it clear she has a special affection for Juliette: "I don't love women, I love Juliette." Her tolerance for Alex's clumsy attentions after Juliette's disappearance is beautifully done. Auteuil's attraction is more problematic; you can sense that there hasn't been much affection in his life and allowing Juliette to get close to him endangers his efforts to remain a loner. Finally, praise to Laurence Cote for her bravura blend of elegance and punk-rock; a wonderful new star.
Is it a crime story? Daniel Auteuil (Caché, The Valet) is a cop from a family of criminals. His big brother is killed in a botched car theft, and he is piecing things together. Of course, he is not formally investigating as it is his family involved, and also his (girlfriend, lover, whatever) is also a part of it.
It is, at the same time a love story. A love triangle between Alex (Auteuil), Marie (Catherine Deneuve), and Juliette (Laurence Côte). Alex is just using Juliette to let off some steam, but does grow to love her. Marie is madly in love with her. The relationships and the criminal enterprise are intertwined to the point where you really have great difficulty describing just what the point of it all is.
Me? I just enjoyed the great performances of Deneuve and Auteuil and Côte, as well as Juliette's brother (Benoît Magimel). That was enough.
And when Auteuil says: You just do not want to fight.
Heroine Catherine Deneuve fights: I fall asleep with her and wake up with her.
What can say more?
It's a wonderful movie in the movie.
Suicide. And how is it possible to live,
The image Heroine (Deneuve) - two in one, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet buried in the apartment.
It was interesting that almost all comments have been positive. I guess nobody noticed something rather obvious towards the conclusion, and if they had thought about it, they'd have understood why they were a bit baffled by the movie. The cast started baling out of the movie towards the end. Catherine Deneuve vanished. Her absence was explained by someone telling the hero that she had committed suicide. Off camera, no less, with no indication that that might happen. Then the young heroine, Deneuve's lover, disappeared. Where did she go? Oh yeah, someone mentioned that she'd gone to Marseilles. Oh really? I didn't notice her packing.
So the director cleverly covered for them. Were his stars fed up? Was the shoot going overtime? Had the production run out of money? Anyway, finally he's left with the kid to come back to, the same one he opened the movie with. At least it gave him a couple of bookends, but what was between them was a plot with no satisfactory conclusion.
Too bad. This could have been a fine movie, but it never got finished.
Jelby, Victoria, B.C.