An immensely strange film from Rivette. On the surface it's a thriller, but it's 3 hours long and really has about as much plot as you'd expect from a film of regular length. The build up to what action there is is drawn out to incredible lengths without really attempting to build up suspense. This will all make it sound like I didn't like the film, but I liked it a great deal.
Overwrought drama not without some style and verve. The two leads could easily have been played by Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu and were a bit two dimensional - she the strong willed, long strides, closed mouthed and not to be courted woman and he the mysterious lady's man. I kept wishing there was something more here. More sustenance and less style. Less pouring and drinking of wine and keeping of secrets.
Not too long! Beautiful. I enjoyed all 168 minutes. I like watching Sandrine Bonnaire walking around, having her morning coffee, and Rivette shoots her beautifully, making what could have been an ordinary thriller into a character study. She also starred in Rivette's JEANNE LA PUCELLE, 5 & 1/2 hours, and it was great. Granted, I had the luxury of watching these films in pieces, half in the theater, and half at home.
Other than the length, there is very little here that suggests Rivette's style. Still, this is an excellent thriller-drama. The first hour is the best, everything in constant motion leading to an accident that sets the tone for the more contemplative remainder of the film, in which various buried secrets are gradually revealed. Spending three hours with the great Sandrine Bonnaire is always welcome.
Overlong and somewhat over indulgent but with beautiful cinematography by Lutchansky..... in other words a film by Jacques Rivette. Here Rivette and company turn their eye to the thriller genre with this tale of siblings discovering revelations about their fathers death five years before and confronting the man who may be responsible. Could have been told in half the time. Bonnaire is just wonderful here.
This is a movie that should be boring, but it isn't. Rivette has a way of generating interest in the littlest of things. The tension here is like a screw being tightened. There's always a feeling that everything is about to explode. It's very hard to explain the appeal here, but I dig this one a lot.