This is not Bille August's best work.The content of the novel written by Pascal Mercier (a.k.a. Peter Bieri) works. Bravo to August for the casting of Charlotte Rampling, Lena Olin, Tom Courtenay, Bruno Ganz, Christopher Lee, Martina Gedeck, Jeremy Irons, and Melanie Laurent (in that order). A flaw--Olin and Laurent (with moles) don't look similar. Even the novel's philosophy holds your interest only at the start.