Current Release Date: June 10th (NYC-Quad Cinemas and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas)m ThinkFilm.
The Cast: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi,Stephane Freiss.
In French with subtitles.
† BASIC PREMISE: A man and a woman fall in love, get married, and file a divorced although not in that order it all takes place in reverse chronological order.
† ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is a beautiful, very talented actress who shows a lot of warmth and is very likeable. She really brings this film alive with all her charm. However, Stephane Ross is not as likeable as he rapes her in the beginning of the film (or the end, however you want to look at it). The editing makes the reverse chronological scenes less burdensome by fading-to-black after every reversal. Also, the plot is much simpler than it was in Memento, another reverse chronological film where the main character has to tattoo or take photos of every crucial plot point to unsolved the murder of his wife. There may be no murder in this film, but there is suspense because you wonder how the couple met in the first place and what their background is. All of these questions are answered eventually without any surprises. The only real surprise is Bruni-Tedeschi, who steals the show even during all the picturesque scenes at the beach.
† SPIRITUAL VALUE: The reverse chronological order takes time getting used to at first, but it is certainly not difficult to put it all together. If it were in chronological order, though, it would not be as intriguing and would have been too predictable and even dull. Fortunately, there is some character development to make the film more thought provokingóby the end (or the beginning), the couple becomes more real and their actions make much more sense.
† INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
† NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
† THE BOTTOM LINE: A wonderfully-acted film with a simple plot that turns slightly more complex and suspenseful with its reverse chronological order. Nothing new is said or done, but it is still fun to watch and a joy to behold one of the finest French actresses shine so brightly.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)