How entertaining? ★★★★☆
Thought provoking? ★★☆☆☆
26 November 2011
This a movie review of THE BELOVED.
“I cannot live without loving you,” Madeleine.
This is the fifth Christopher Honore picture I’ve caught, and his work is turning into a must for me to catch whenever it is available to be seen. He makes these sexy and sometimes disturbing dissections of failed relationships. Some might argue a pessimism pervades his work, while others might contend a heightened reality dominates his apparent outlook. He seems to be a darker Francois Ozon, who himself delves into the tragic side of romance, though sometimes allows for a happy resolution. Don’t get me wrong, Honore’s work is not dour, often during the runtime it is life affirming with characters breaking into song – here and LES CHANSONS D’ARMOUR. He never goes for the easy pay-off, which must be so tempting in the morass of simplistic rom-coms reaping box office gold. Bravo then!
Spanning over 40 years, we follow the loves of Madeleine (played by legend Catherine Deneuve, and in youth by the hypnotic Ludivine Sagnier), and her daughter Vera (Chiara Mastroianni). The story moves between Paris, Czechoslovakia and London, spanning nearly two-and-a-half hours and being all the more gripping for letting the narrative breathe. The men in their lives (e.g. Louis Garrel, Milos Forman, Paul Schneider) all rotate around these two magnetic women causing joy and heartache in equal measure. The soundtrack accompanying all this is ridiculously great. Even with the veering into melodrama, this is so engaging. Lets hope it gets distribution.