For the sake of perspective, this review should begin with a confession: Your critic knows little of Proust. I haven't read any Proust. Most quotes I've heard from the deeply philosophical writer have come from the mouths of people so full of themselves that the words went in one ear and out the other out of disdain for the speaker. I admit it, I'm an ignoramus on this front.
So as you come to realize that I didn't much care for "Time Regained," the French film adaptation of Marcel Proust's last novel, feel free to draw the conclusion that I haven't the slightest idea what I'm talking about.
What little I do know of Proust, however, leads me to believe if the man were alive today he would scoff at the idea that the deliberate formlessness of "Time" could successfully be adapted to film.
Continue reading: Time Regained Review
A "Lolita"-like story of a middle-aged man's sexual obsession with a 17-year-old girl, "L'Ennui" gets repetitive in a big hurry.
Charles Berling ("Ridicule," "Dry Cleaning") stars as Martin, a 40-ish philosophy teacher who drives himself to the brink of insanity trying to possess his indifferent young lover, Cecilia (Sophie Guillemin), who is so emotionally detached that she can't even explain why she sleeps with him. She just does -- about 20 times in the course of the movie, occasionally showing a glimmer of gratification, but more frequently moaning a little, kissing him on the cheek and saying goodbye.
Cecilia is a maddening enigma to Martin only because she's intellectually underdeveloped and can't express herself to his satisfaction. As he becomes overwhelmed by his desire, the movie falls into a looping pattern of sexual rendezvous mixed with scenes of Martin following Cecilia, Martin phoning Cecilia and Martin pulling his hair out over Celilia's nonchalant attitude toward their relationship -- and her affair with another man. She sees no conflict. Martin, of course, does.
Continue reading: L'ennui Review