Our Film Review:
The latest work from veteran French auteur Alain Resnais is a clever adaption of two different plays from playwright Jean Anouilh. A combination of Eurydice and Dear Antoine allows for an interesting set up. An unusual invitation given by a recently deceased theatre director to his cast, sees them assemble for a new version of Eurydice. Once they arrive the late director then leaves it up to the cast to decide if this new version is worthy. During the screening their fondness for their previous roles overcomes them and they begin to perform their roles within the screening room.
The first thing that jumps out of the screen is the sheer quality of the cast Resnais has assembled here. With a cast that includes Mathieu Amalric, Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azéma amongst many others, the film provides audiences with the crème de la crème of French acting talent and it’s fair to say that they deliver nothing less than virtuoso performances throughout.
The script is more than a match for its players, in equal measures witty and emotional, it will be a very hard audience that is not moved by the powerful scenes on offer here. The subject matter becomes all the more pertinent when Alain Resnais’ recent 90th birthday is taken into account, sadly there is a very real chance this may be his final film.
Whilst the whole film does feel somewhat like a play throughout there are still some fantastic visual flourishes to be found, there is some great use of inter-titles early on and some interesting split screen shots later in the film. However it’s the film’s theatrical look that will draw criticism from some quarters and certainly won’t appeal to everyone.
Credit should also been given to the subtle and effective soundtrack of offer here, it’s perfectly in tune with the tone of the film and Mark Snow has delivered one of his best scores in some time.
Overall it’s a strong film that packs an emotional punch and delivers an interesting look into the separation of character from one’s self. Its somewhat self reflexive nature won’t be to everyone’s taste but there is a lot to like here, even if you struggle to swallow this then at least seek it out for the strength of performances alone.