Jean, his loving wife, and son live a simple, happy life. At his son’s homeroom teacher Mademoiselle Chambon’s request, Jean volunteers as a substitute teacher and starts to fall for her delicate and elegant charm. His ordinary life between family and work starts to falter.
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I thought (1) the color palette was breathtaking, (2) the story telling through editing went beat by beat i.e. the plot was easy to follow, but the story was continuously gripping, (3) the layered shots spoke in metaphors, and (4) finally one could understand the emotions of the characters, especially Jean, even or especially through silence.
Jean (Vincent Lindon) and Mademoiselle Chambon (Sandrine Kiberlain) have a steamy affair. One person in our group was offended by their affair, but the couple is married in real life. Knowing this actually makes the movie more intriguing.
A lovely and exquisite tale of unspoken romance communicated through a mutual love for music. Furtive glances and shared passions speak more than its shy, inarticulate characters can say. Aching use of music to tell its story, and say what its characters cannot. Brize's narrative is elegant and heartfelt.
Yet another predictable story of adultery in a French small town. Done to death. But the part where Vincent Lindon describes what he does for a living - i.e. building houses" - to the class is just brilliant.
An almost-romance between a cultured primary school teacher who might once have been a successful violinist, desperate to finally put down roots, and a married builder whose son she teaches. It's Brief Encounter, but so stripped back that most of the ‘action’ occurs in beautiful-acted silent sequences between the two, set to three short violin pieces. The emotional (and quietly erotic) force of this film is amazing…