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Drawing some intriguing parallels between the work of the prostitute and that of the psychiatrist-both have clients, both charge for sessions, both take on roles that serve the needs, ... See full summary »
Boldly unconventional and cheerful, that's how one could describe Babou. Never having cared about social conventions, she is suddenly faced with the realization that her own daughter is ... See full summary »
Villa Amalia is the story of Ann, a musician, whose life is turned upside down by a kiss. When she sees Thomas kissing another woman, Ann makes a clean break, leaving him and everything ... See full summary »
Agathe lives with her husband and son in a posh apartment in front of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Patrick lives with his son in the back of a van. She is the head of an important contemporary... See full summary »
Beatrice is a very reserved and quiet young woman. Her friend Marylene is left by her lover and brings her to Cabourg (Normandy) for a few days' vacation. There, Beatrice, an apprentice ... See full summary »
It is impossible not to be shocked by this movie, focused on a very delicate theme, and on three female characters. An over the top (and very courageous) Isabelle Huppert plays the main role of Danielle, a mother who hates her daughter in a visceral way, and has spent her whole life between indifference and sense of guilt, but incapable of elaborating her suffering condition. Her interpretation is devastating, her face is completely blank and the camera focused on it underlines the void of her inner world, still more underlined by the aseptic, white, impersonal environment surrounding her. Her troubled relationship with motherhood is probably part of a mental disorder, since also the relation with her good husband has always been difficult, as she has often felt disgusted by him, and she feels in general incapable of experiencing any human feelings. Mélanie Laurent plays Sophie, the hated daughter, she shifts from total inexpressiveness when she is with Danielle (although she feels some kind of love for her), to tender maternal love when she is with her own daughter. Greta Scacchi plays the analyst and is the only soothing and positive human female figure, trying to elaborate some sense and to assert the value of human sympathy.
The atmosphere throughout the movie never ceases to be tense, sometimes too tense, the moments of "dialogue" between Danielle and Sophie convey such anger, rage, hate that they are almost unbearable. The final outcome tries to offer some relief, although not too convincing, as if a backwards step seemed to be necessary in order to bring all the hate we have perceived to a more humanly-acceptable dimension, as if some kind of rescue were to be found, but it seems too a hasty ending, which leaves many unsolved, but probably unsolvable questions (above all, the only hinted reference by Danielle to the possibility that every mother could have negative feelings for a child, that you cannot enforce yourself to love someone, not even your own child). Undoubtedly, a very well interpreted movie, but, obviously, very sad and depressing, you need to be prepared and be in the right mood to see it.
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