Isabelle is a successful painter living in Paris, whose apparent independence belies what she desires most: real romantic fulfilment. Isabelle reveals deep wells of yearning, vulnerability, and resilience as she tumbles into relationships with all the wrong men.
A Claire Denis romcom? We’re sold! Subverting fairytale tropes with fine irony, this wonderfully unpredictable take on middle-age female desire and the volatility of emotions stars an exquisitely mercurial Juliette Binoche—searching for love, encountering mostly disappointment. Oh, and that ending!
It is nothing more and nothing less than a film about a fiftysomething woman’s sex life, a work that takes a subject so rarely confronted and renders it with remarkable empathy, complexity, and sensuality.
The steady, nuanced screenplay allows Binoche to sketch a character study vividly fleshed-out and unpredictable in her romantic trysts. Deceptively simple in its classical shot-reverse shot rhythms, every unadorned composition serves as a direct conduit to the roiling inner-life of the actress. Formal elements are chosen to accentuate the her shifting insecurities and pleasures in an elegant and empathic manner.
An irritating film, probably by intent. Denis' latest is built on circles and repetitions, a pattern of hope, sex, love, and caprice that could live up to a profound thesis if its heroine's actions registered as complex instead of incoherent. It does make dating Juliette Binoche seem unappealing, which is something. And it gets a bonus for a good dance scene and the right ending, which justifies going nowhere.
Pretty boring but it's a really good kind of boring. Agnes Godard photography kept my eyes on the screen. Really frustrating to see less than one minute of Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. And the whole last scene of the film we had to see Depardieu's monkey proboscis. He was never very handsome but now it is painful to look at him. I watched this movie with my friend who kept asking "How much longer before it's over?"
A simulacrum of Juliette Binoche gets humiliated by most, if not all, the male counterparts she meets. A depressing, mostly inexplicable tale of a directionless, passive individual who seems unable to function without the support and approval of selfish, egocentric men. Denis' most pessimistic film about gender relationships. Or the most realistic.
15 minutes in, a friend whispered, "I forgot I'd seen this before." To say this is dull and wordy is an understatement. 90 minutes of staring at a wall would have more to say about gender relations, rather than watching Binoche keep going for emotionally unavailable men, then complaining that she can't find love. It's like William Holden in Network all over again. A frustrating, insufferable, endless piece of cinema.
It seems more like a stunt than a film. Let's get La Binoche and Depardieu together in a film after he insults her for no good reason. It's not even a Denis film. Everyone tries to get Binoche in bed, and then treats her badly. She wanders around wondering what to do. She's less of an actor these days and more of a movie star. Who thought this was a good idea?