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Ce jour-là

Director: Raoul Ruiz

FRANCE| 2003. ENGLISH SUBTITLES. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 105 MINUTES.


One of contemporary cinema’s most elegant eccentrics is in a playful mood even by his standards in Ce jour-là. Raoul Ruiz’s macabre comedy is about angels and demons, greed and innocence, and the thin line separating madness from sanity. Setting the tone with a fanciful opening, Ruiz introduces Livia (Elsa Zylberstein), a Swiss heiress with a fragile grip on reality who sees an angel in every encounter. Using a complicated system involving runes, I-Ching, tarot and Aztec astrology, Livia has divined that tomorrow will be the best day of her life. Meanwhile, psychopath Emil Pointpoirot (Bernard Giraudeau) has escaped from the local asylum. As the village police lie low, Pointpoirot descends on Livia at home, where her only marginally more normal family has been plotting to put her away and get their hands on her fortune. Pointpoirot initially tries to kill Livia, but she fends him off with a hammer. As the two recognise they are kindred spirits, hapless family members one by one return home and bodies start piling up.
Ruiz creates a drolly black version of a vintage drawing-room mystery with an amusingly orchestrated killing spree, and peoples it with some delicious comic characters. Notable among them are Giraudeau’s rapturous murderer, Helene Surgere’s imperious dowager, Edith Scob’s parched usurper of the matriarchal role and two cops with a unique handle on logic, played by Jean-Luc Bideau and Christian Vadim.

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