Film Feedback
New This WeekAround TownMusicFilmArtTheaterNews & FeaturesFood & DrinkAstrology
  HOME
NEW THIS WEEK
EDITORS' PICKS
LISTINGS
NEWS & FEATURES
MUSIC
FILM
ART
BOOKS
THEATER
DANCE
TELEVISION
FOOD & DRINK
ARCHIVES
LETTERS
PERSONALS
CLASSIFIEDS
ADULT
ASTROLOGY
PHOENIX FORUM DOWNLOAD MP3s

  E-Mail This Article to a Friend
LES DESTINÉES

Lushly adapted from the novel by Jacques Chardonne, this film from Olivier Assayas (Late August, Early September and Irma Vep) re-creates France from the turn of the century through World War I and on to the market crash in 1929. Acted beautifully by an ensemble cast that includes Emmanuelle Béart, Isabelle Huppert, and Charles Berling, the film follows the life of Jean Barnery (Berling) as he searches for happiness in his youth, falls in and out of love, and eventually settles down to run the family pottery business. (I know what you’re thinking, but stay with me.) The complex story unfolds in three overlapping sections, with the story of Barnery’s marriage to Pauline (Béart) getting the most screen time. Berling and Béart deliver a sweetly nuanced portrait of a marriage as it evolves from budding passion into indifference and eventually and then a profound understanding and commitment that comment on the very nature and endurance of love. Assayas uses the porcelain factory that connects the diverse cast to develop themes about commitment, family, pride in one’s craft, and the changes that have overtaken France. In French with English subtitles. (180 minutes)

BY BROOKE HOLGERSON

Issue Date: July 11 - 18, 2002
Back to the Movies table of contents.
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend