Saturday, June 30, 2007

Movie Watch! - Un amour à taire

Un amour à taire (A Love to Hide) (2005) - Compare the French and American covers of the film above. The American cover emphasizes the joyous moments and the awards or festivals or whatever this film has been in. The French cover reveals just how dark and rather depressing this film can be. It's really not a very happy film by a long shot. I think the American cover tends to skit around the fact that this is a film set in the severe Antisemitism of World War II France. Yikes. Anyways, on the the movie. It was pretty respectful, adequate, decent. Jérémie Renier (who will star with Gaspard Ulliel in next year's The Vintner's Luck) and Bruno Todeschini (who was in 2004's Le dernier jour with Gaspard) play Jean and Philippe, lovers of four years who have fallen into a certain pattern of everyday life, keeping their love hidden from society. Jean's older brother, Jacques, is the black sheep of the family who seeks to become the prodigal son after he is released from jail. With Jacques's misbehavior, Jean stands to inherit the family laundry business. Sara, a Jewish girl and childhood love of Jean, escapes the Third Reich and winds up back in Jean's life. As a Jewish refugee, she takes on the identity of Yvonne Brunner and blends into society as best she can. Jacques becomes enamored with Yvonne. Trouble ensues. It's a fairly classical situation in some ways, except set in the heart-wrenching reign of the Third Reich, and while the film tries to encompass messages on homosexual love, familial loyalty, divided affection, war morality, it never quite accomplishes to do any in a real convincing manner. On top of that, they try to portray the role of the non-Jew in the labor and internment camp system. Great attempt, but director Christian Faure just tries to do far too much with too little time. Overly ambitious, somewhat unfocused, but with a few very decent performances from the leads. 6/10

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