(director/writer: Stephanie Brize; screenwriter: Marie Drucker; cinematographer: Antoine Héberlé; editor: Anne Klotz; music: Vincent Delerm; cast: Alba Rohrwacher (Alice), Guillaume Canet (Mathieu), Marie Drucker (News Anchor wife of Mathieu), Sharif Andoura (Alice’s husband), Emmy Boissard PaumelleEmmy Boissard PaumelleEmmy Boissard Paumelle (Alice’s teenage daughter), Lucette Beudin (Alice’s 78-year-old friend), Gilberte Bellus (Lucette’s’s former lover), Hugo Dillon (Fitness Trainer); Runtime: 115; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sidonie Dumas; Caneo Films; 2023-France-in French with English subtitles)

“This emotionally moving Lelouch type of film thrives on its intimacy.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

French filmmaker Stephanie Brize (“Another World”/”At War”) directs and the screenplay is co-written by Brize and Marie Drucker.

Mathieu (
Guillaume Canet) is an ageing famous French screen actor who goes without his news anchor wife (Marie Drucker) to a coastal spa town in Brittany to relieve stress after backing out of appearing in a play that was set to open. At a hotel restaurant he meets his former lover, a former concert pianist named Alice (Alba Rohrwacher), who lives here. They haven’t seen each other for 15 years. She’s now married to a doctor (Sharif Andoura) and has a daughter (Emmy Boissard Paumelle).

They make small talk over coffee. Alice talks about her caretaker job at a facility for the elderly. Eventually they are overcome recalling some bittersweet moments in their relationship. Her creative life has been stifled, leaving her frustrated, while the charming debonair actor now has doubts about his acting ability.

Old wounds are opened for the former lovers, as their sense of being is tenderly tested. This emotionally moving
Lelouch type of film thrives on its intimacy. Its grey winter out of season location affects the psyches of the former lovers, as they wonder what could have been if they remained together and if their current marriages weren’t so disappointing. They both have regrets as they think about what might have been.

It played at the Venice Film Festival.