Do you like French films? Not even any in particular, but just the thought of French films. Do you bring out the brie and Burgundy almost subconsciously when the latest example of 'Le Cinéma Français' cues up on MUBI? If so, you'll *love* this. But if not, then you'd better avert your eyes. Stéphane Brizé composes a chamber piece of (very) slow-burning infidelity, construction work, and poignant violin passages.
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.
Pretty well done, but it took me a little bit to get into it. Its a good movie with a difficult to find audience: probably too every day life in France and incomprehensible in other places, especially the USA. Some lost in translation details were comical, could not help myself note that even deep France rednecks dress nicer and behave with more taste than Brooklyn hipsters.
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…