Charlotte, a freelance writer, invites her recently widowed mother, Catherine, to live in her apartment, and the ensuing clutter becomes a source of irritation and strife. When Catherine decides to revitalize her career as a piano teacher, the claustrophobia reaches new and absurd levels.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
A deceptively simple motif about mother-daughter relationships proves an opportune vehicle for extending the comedy genre in ways that make paradox look more like the real issue than reality itself. Aided by a splendid set design and giving to props and surfaces a tactile visual form, Akerman condenses all sorts of serious issues into the transient spoof of choreographed moves across apartments. Elusively charming.
Sylvie Testud and Aurore Clement are both quite charming throughout Akerman's comedic attempt but the film falls flat. The whimsy and comedy come off as forced at best and often quite puerile. Well crafted technically but the scripting sinks this one.
Playing and having fun make you feel good, and I love Chantal so much I regularly fear I may explode. Or just these: these warm happy tears. She really was the very best. Obviously you need to have a sufficiently nuanced appreciation of worthwhile pleasures. Here's hoping. This one really plays on that Renoir thing: the coextension of private and public space. So great to revisit this. Thank you, MUBI!
Seems like Akerman's attempt at post-MELO Resnais, and one of her least effective films of the '90s, especially after the devastating "CAPTIVE," and a far drop from the charming, incisive comedy of NIGHT AND DAY. Still worth watching for her fans, but no comfort for those of us who hold TOUT UN NUIT dear and hope for a second coming, however modest....
He sat in his chair watching the film, waiting for desire to arrive. His expectations were lowered having read the article by Martin and Lopez about this film. But then a bunch of people showed up at the apartment and it grounded to a halt, and so he got up and left.
Unconvinced that there's sufficient material here to sustain interest over 110 minutes. Despite Mubi's by-line, this is a tale of the perils of moving home as much as cohabitation between pianistic mother and author daughter. Charlotte, fit a staircase handrail and switch to de-caff!