Clive Langham spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, through flashbacks, how spiteful, conniving and treacherous his family is.
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John Gielgud's all-too-gradually dying novelist, a self-described former revolutionary turned monster of ego, has a searing pain flashing right up his ass. Inaccessible to alcoholic succor (despite his persistent application of heroic doses), the pain keeps him up at night, a demonic muse spurring the composition of one last novel, a convoluted contortion of his family's history into rebarbative, devolutionary farce.
Resnais pulling a Resnais, nihil sub sole novum here. Not on par with his greatest work, but not bad, either. I pondered about giving it 4 stars, but was actually a bit bored here and there, so I judge it a tad overlong & kind of redundant once you acknowledge how the aesthetic structure works. But nice juxtapositions here and there & some great dialogue with a brilliant, brilliant cast.