France | Germany | Belgium 2014
Starts Opening March 19, 2015
Directed by: Benoît Jacquot
Writing credits: Julien Boivent, Benoît Jacquot
Principle actors: Benoît Poelvoorde, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve
This melodrama engages immediately with its fast-paced start: by seconds a middle-aged man misses his last train back to Paris. Trying to figure out what to do next, he meets a woman. There is an instant attraction between the two strangers. Sylvie and Marc (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Benoit Poelvoorde) talk all night and pledge to meet again at a certain time and place in Paris. They trust each other to be there, exchange no phone numbers or last names. But when Marc arrives there hours late due to an emergency, Sylvie has left already.
So far the story is somewhat reminiscent of Before Sunrise (1995, with Julie Delpi and Ethan Hawke). Like Die Geliebten Schwestern (by Dominik Graf) and Walking on Sunshine (by Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini) it will turn out to be yet another 2014 film featuring a love-triangle between one man and two sisters.
Life goes on: Sylvie moves abroad; Marc falls in love with Sophie (Mastroianni), not knowing that she is Sylvie’s younger sister. We do know, but are left in suspense when and how this might be revealed. Gainsbourg and Poelvoorde are fascinating as two strangers having an instant and intense connection. It is their performance, complimented by Mastroianni’s ‘Sophie’ and Deneuve as the sisters’ mother, that make this film worth watching—a film that, due to implausibilities and some peculiar choices by the director, is not entirely satisfactory and in the end left me somewhat at a loss. (Carola A.)