[More like 3.5] There's much good and... would-not-know-how-to-define-it (as it is not 'bad') in this movie: the character-building is amazing, and the cinematography choices are bold and meaningful (despite many people criticising the sudden change of focal length), yet some scenes seem to break out of the movie canons just for the sake of being unusual (e.g. people breaking the forth wall, peeping holes...).
4.5... It can't get top marks because it feels like Desplechin wanted to tell about twenty stories in two hours, and but three are realised. On another note; the representation of the French petit-bourgeoise is solid (even if it's meant to be surreal). It reminded me of visiting my ex's family in Troyes for Christmas... Odd sexual, lyrical (and ultimately Gallic) tensions.
Very well done, both cinematographically and in text. I don't think I want to describe it more as it is an experience more than pure storytelling. If you are not a French speaker (perfection is not always available), you will miss out on some of the best written dialogues in a long time, witty and delicate.
A great script and great ensemble cast, exploring selfishness and togetherness in the upper middle class family of disinterested parents. The death in early childhood of their oldest child affects everyone and everything - they are all too close, even in their unbelievable cruelness and rudeness. They tolerate everything, even the opportunistic 6-year exile of the obnoxious Henri. Weird film-making gets in the way.
A household cast under a spell: a shadow-puppet prologue and a touch of Dieterle's Midsummer Night's Dream yield a family drama like no other, both intensely cerebral and deeply affecting. Plus, a magical score, and one of Mathieu AmalrIc's most abrasive, unforgettable performances. There's an undeniable streak of misogyny running through Desplechin's cinema, but this may be his most perfect film so far.
What a wonderful film! Although, at the beginning it is so depressing that it seems to be trying everything in its power to make you stop watching. Slowly, very slowly you are drawn into this patchwork quilt of a family, each one believing, for their own neurotic reasons, that life is has been unfair to them. I still don't know why I watched this to the bitter end, but I'm glad I did.
Enjoyed this very much, even the most grotesque characters had something to offer - and who hasn't struggled with the claustrophobia of forced Christmas gatherings. My French really isn't that good so I relied on the subtitles (which may not have been that subtle) - says more about the coldness of the English language than anything - but didn't detract. Every cast member is sublime.
A coral movie, with a classic plot: it explores the past of a french family, devasted by misunderstandings, reunited at Christmas around Junon, a beautiful woman, waiting for marrow transplant. The extraordinary thing about this movie is that altough sometimes it seems glacial and vougue, characters discuss about tragedies with a smile, and acceptance as well. Very fluid you never get bored!
Stylistically, it's all over the place. It switches to telescopic view for no apparent reason. The actors talk to the camera, both in the scene and in a studio. There are scenes that are similar to those 'Previously on ...' which summarize events a bit too quickly. Overall, the stylistic changes serve to obfuscate the plot to the point where I no longer cared.
Film génial qui est vraiment original au sein des nombreux films qui traitent de la famille. Une bande son trop cool par Hetzel qui alterne entre rap et musique classique. Et enfin une performance incroyable de Mathieu Amalric qui restera en plus mon personnage préféré.