i wonder why you wonder :-) great film
Desplechin provided an epic length navel gazing exercise from the cream of the crop on young french actors in '96. It captured the privliged, ego-centric and emotionally damaged youth of the period in exacting detail. While not exactly likable characters they are certainly interesting ones. Performances are strong with kudos to Devos, Amalric and Balibar. Rohmer lite perhaps.
The best of the three I've seen. He shares Cassavetes's interest in fraying relationships and his disregard for narrative compression, but he has a whole toy chest of cinematic bells and whistles that directors in this line usually deny themselves. Must be the nouvelle vague heritage. (Someone somewhere dubbed him "Rohmer on speed" -- not too far off.)
Desplechin, in many ways, has yet to fulfill this promise. The story of a PhD unable to finish either his thesis or his ongoing affairs...I love it for the energy and the patience. All the beautiful little subplots: the cousin who wants to become a Catholic, Esther missing her period. A great, modern novel on film.
Damn, that was good. Wonder why it was never released here in Germany, normally a lot of french films cross the rhine. It is a very deep exploration of male (and female alike!) social and sexual bevhaviour and experience. Superb, and not a bit boring despite the 3 hours running time in which nothing is shown but people talking.