Chiara Mastroianni - The cast and crew of French drama '3 Coeurs' and other stars hit the red carpet for the movie's premiere at the 71st Venice International Film Festival - Venice, Italy - Saturday 30th August 2014
In 1964 Riems, Madeleine (Sagnier) accidentally begins moonlighting as a prostitute before falling in love with a client, the charming Czech doctor Jaromil (Bukvic). He whisks her off to Prague, until the Russian invasion of 1968 and Jaromil's infidelity drive her back to France with daughter Vera.
Madeleine remarries, but never loses her feelings for Jaromil. Even some 40 years later (now played by Deneuve and Forman), they're meeting in secret, while Vera (now Mastroianni) is struggling with the fact that she has fallen in love with the wrong man (Schneider).
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Only a few days before the sugar plums and wassail are set on the table, Junon Vuillard (Catherine Deneuve), the grand matriarch of a family of lunatics, is diagnosed with a serious case of lymphoma, the same disease that already claimed her eldest son Joseph. The film opens with her husband Abel (Jean-Paul Roussillon) mourning over his son with a startlingly breezy candor. Employing shadow puppets, the lineage of the Vuillard family in its current incarnation is explained, leading to Ivan (Melvil Poupad), the youngest of Junon's children.
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In adapting Satrapi's book for the screen, the filmmakers could easily have gone the route that Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller did with Miller's Sin City, after all, her emotive but simple black drawings would be many times easier to represent in film than, say, the luridly complex and many-colored works of many other graphic artists. But instead of simply replicating what was on the printed page, Satrapi and Paronnaud went to a much more expressive place, choosing instead to keep the spirit and basic look of those dark, simple pages of art, and just add a natural fluidity to it. The frame doesn't move much, leaving one with the impression of looking through a window into another world, where the characters practically float like dancers amid the layered fields of beautifully grey-shaded art, and the mood is grim and poetic. There is little background music or noise except when necessary, eschewing the clouding clutter of a Disney production, with the bright and clear vocals of an early Peanuts film -- and all the heartache-inducing simple truths which that implies.
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Tedeschi plays Federica, a young Italian woman who's trying to make a go of things as a playwright but seems to spend most of her time mooning about in discontent, daydreaming, finding ways to sabotage her relationships, and compulsively going to confession, even though she has nothing to confess. As her working-class, leftist boyfriend Pierre (Jean-Hughes Anglade) reminds her, with the vast sums of money sitting in her bank account, her intermittent writing is actually less a job than a hobby. The film's title is a reference to the Biblical passage about it being easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven.
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Why is it so popular? Because it's so easy. All you have to do is start with one character, then keep inventing friends and relatives until you connect them back to the first guy. This is exactly what writer/director Delphine Gleize has done. Unfortunately, she forgot that to add in anything along the way that we should actually care about.
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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.
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