It appears that Judith is the sort of woman that everyone falls in love with as evident with both her ex lover Anna Marie who is a Private Investigator and her 20 something-year-old son Jeremie who has just been released from prison. Jeremie with his phobia of being touched (!) only really enters her life after a paranoid Francis acting like a character out of his own novels employs him to spy on Judith as he is convinced she is being unfaithful with a market gardener. Not the best move for a cuckold husband to make.
Why Alice neglects her own daughter so cruelly seems like history repeating itself as Francis was never that keen at hanging around and playing happy families when she was a tot.
Despite all its many plot strands (or maybe because of them?) there is something quite compelling (besides all the lush stunning views of Venice) about this intense drama written & directed by the veteran French filmmaker André Téchiné (‘Wild Reeds’ ‘My Favorite Season’). He certainly has a skill in both humanising all these scenarios and engaging us completely even when things do not always end up as they should have. He was served well by his cast led by André Dussollier (‘Amelie’) as Francis, and playing the love of everyone’s life Judith was Carole Bouquet who I was shocked to discover that in a another life had been a Bond Girl back when Roger Moore was 007!
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