Sunday, July 13, 2008

La Fabrique des Sentiments (The Feelings Factory)

The second feature film by Jean-Marc Moutout is an articulate and lucid drama with some satire/comic touches here and there that will mesmerize you for the story it tells, the most incredible Elsa Zylberstein performance and the unexpected end that totally contradicts everything you been seeing, will leave you thinking and eventually you will find that makes total sense.

The movie tells about Éloïse a beautiful, single and successful 36-years-old career woman that feels lonely and with her clear business mind decides to try a speed dating service where there are seven women, seven men and seven minutes to meet each other. But this is the excuse to explore successful career women psyche with all its contradictions and the anxieties of urban existence, industrialization, modern identity, and disposability. All this is done with calculated contradiction between coldness and warmth, and incredible realism and playful oneiric moments.

What is truly remarkable in this film is Zylbersteim’s subtly modulated performance done mostly with face expressions and close-ups that will make you feel everything that the character is feeling, especially when she’s struggling between pragmatism and quixotic romanticism, and when she’s forced to set aside her romantic ideals of finding perfect love in order to confront the mundane reality of her debilitating and life altering illness. She absolutely carries the whole movie and you cannot take your eyes from her when she’s in the screen. Amazing!

Being honest with you all, I didn’t paid much attention to anything else but Zylberstein performance that hypnotized me –that’s how strong is her screen presence-, but still I did notice that the movie as a movie has excellent tech specs with beautiful grey-sad takes of autumn Paris. The movie was screened at the 58th Berlinale in the Panorama section.

Absolutely not for all audiences you have to like French cinema and if you do, you have to be prepared for an intense voyage into the head of one woman. I highly recommend this movie to all career oriented women in the world even when the end is quite peculiar and all I will say is that no matter what you accomplish according to the norms you still need an escape from normality.


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