Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Impardonnables (Unforgivable)

Not easy to start to talk about this André Téchiné movie as you can tell is a Téchiné movie but story has some elements that suggest that the director is not his young self anymore. As is hard, let me share my experience while watching.

Started watching film understanding everything until I reached the moment when I said, what is this? Am I missing something? What is really going on? Honestly had no idea. So I relaxed continue watching but I was feeling a strong unsettling feeling. Suddenly I forgot about the unsettling feeling and for a minute got distracted as I noticed movie had grabbed me inside the story and I was enjoying the ride. But unfortunately there were moments when story released me enough to think what was going to come next and surprise, surprise I guessed right.

There are not many French movies that I can guess what comes next or that allow me to start thinking, much less a Téchiné film, and me guessing a "complex" plot next move in an auteur film is just unforgivable. Perhaps movie name comes to be because it was going to make me feel unforgiveness as I couldn't find anything else remotely unforgivable.

As always in Téchiné's films there is a relatively complex story with many little stories about the many characters that populate film; stories that eventually merge at one point and to my surprise in this movie that has a clear beginning and clear end, the end is happy. So story is complex due to many character stories; but then not really, perhaps is more confusing as there are some (too many) scenes that give information that doesn't add to the story of any of the characters.

Film tells the story of Francis (André Dussollier) a writer that can't write when he is in love and he falls in love at first sight when he meets Judith (Carole Bouquet), an ex-model, and now the real estate agent he visits when he arrives in Venice and is looking for a small apartment to rent. Judith shows him a house in rural Sant'Erasmo, he says he takes the large house only if she comes to live with him. Judith nose bleeds. Eighteen months later they are married and he has writer's block so he roams the streets and canals of Venice in search of inspiration while Judith continues to work. Everything is bliss until new characters with new stories start to appear and story unfolds in many directions that constantly crisscross and won't meet until almost the end. We have Ana Maria, Judith ex and a private investigator, plus Jérémie her son that is in prison; Alice, Francis daughter, an actress that comes for a visit and suddenly disappears leaving all her responsibilities behind, including her own daughter. So Francis hires Ana Maria to find Alice and we learn she is having a passionate affair with Alvise, an aristocrat involved in small-time drug dealing. Jérémie is released and Francis hires him to follow Judith as he is jealous, which only allows Jérémie to have a one-time affair with Judith as he's mainly a depressive homosexual.

So what's story really all about? To me is about nothing. Nothing special, just an elaborate tale of the regular life of men, women, old and young, who happen to have not-so-exciting but full of problems lives. In the end, as it happens in life, some die, some leave, some endure the problems they got into, some end up happy and some end up badly. Nothing special.

Think that wrote too much about a movie that I know many will not like as even when is great to look at -especially one scene with younger Ana Maria shot in black and white- but that is not easy to follow with the many inconsistencies the story has.

Anyway movie is not for all audiences, not even for those that enjoy European movies, this is only suited for those who love Téchiné no matter if he seems to be losing his impressive storytelling style seen in many of his movies.

After realizing how much I could write about movie I came to realize that I like this movie no matter those unforgivable elements. Movie that was screened at 2011 Cannes Directors' Fortnight.


Watch trailer @MOC

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