London at the end of the 19th century. Esther Kahn lives in the East End, child of Jewish immigrants. They all work in the family’s tailor shop. Esther is slow and closed in on herself, she voices no opinions about anything, no feelings for anyone; Esther is stone. It’s when she goes to the theater that Esther “awakens” and comes to life, for she doesn’t look at plays in the same way that others do, she lives them. She decides to become an actress. Thus begins her apprenticeship in the theater and the world which culminates one night, on stage, when she suddenly feels the effects of twenty years of repressed existence surge from within her.
By acclaimed director Arnaud Desplechin (How I Got Into an Argument).
Arnaud Desplechin is the son of Robert and Mado Desplechin, and grew up in the Nord department. He has a brother named Fabrice who has acted in several of his films, and two sisters: novelist Marie Desplechin and screenwriter Raphaëlle Desplechin.
Arnaud Desplechin studied film directing at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle, graduating in 1984. He made three short films inpsired by the work of the Belgian novelist Jean Ray, and became a great admirer of the films of Alain Resnais. During the late 1980s, Desplechin worked as a director of photography on several films.
In 1990, Desplechin directed La Vie des morts, starring several actors who would go on to appear in multiple Desplechin films, such as Marianne Dénicourt, Emmanuelle Devos, Emmanuel Salinger and Thibault de Montalembert. The 54-minute-long film won the Jean Vigo Prize for Short Films, and was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
Desplechin’s first feature-length movie, La Sentinelle, premiered… read more
Underrated, like all of Desplechin's work. It has the richness and the weight of something read rather than seen. So what if it doesn't feel bound in the 19th century setting it purports to happen in? Period pieces be damned.
stark realism prevails in this brilliant bildungsroman, which is moving at a speed of light towards the opening night finale, managing to emphasize every single step esther takes to become an individual on its way there/the best theater movie about the loss of identity after the one by cassavetes