Charlotte est célibataire. Elle essaie d’écrire des livres de commande, des livres érotiques pour survivre sans que son esprit soit le moins du monde absorbé par l’érotisme ou le désir. Mais un jour son père meurt et sa mère, professeur de piano, débarque chez elle pour s’installer.
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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!
An Akerman full of imagination, fantasy, light and sunny, but also quite limited. It all looks like a play which is suppose to be funny but is not. You see the effort, the good words, the actors, you see that artificiality Akerman brought on purpose but there is very little behind all that. Maybe just have fun together : a film to be made, not to be shown. Sometimes a great line but all together a disappointment.
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....
A perceptive, farcical and immensely enjoyable comedy drama. Frantic, chaotic at times and just the right side of downright depressing. Akerman shows not only her recognised cinematographic skills, but also a deep understanding of the ways such close and claustrophic relationships affect the mundanity of everyday existence. My only gripe was the unnecesaary inclusion of some 'zany' characters towards the end.