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Rien à faire

Empty Days

While Marion Vernoux’s Love, etc was an impressive enough adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel, little in the film managed to suggest the sheer assurance of her writing and directing in this marvellous movie. A love story with a difference, it tells of a man and a womanoeach married, each recently made redundant by the same companyowho use the same supermarket. After several chance meetings they start filling their empty hours together and falling for each other. Are they simply seeking an escape form boredom, or is their love real? And if so, can it survive the lies and guilt caused by adultery, not to mention the fact that he still sees himself as upper-management, while she toiled in the storerooms?
This socio-economic slant not only allows Vernoux to locate her story n a world immediately recognisable as real; it also gives it a genuinely fresh perspective, so that we are made acutely aware of how even our emotional lives may be affected by class and money, time and place. Which is not to say the upheaval isn’t real for the lovers; as played by Patrick Dell’Isola and the consistently brilliant Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, and captured by Dominique Colin’s stunning ‘Scope camerawork, their passionopleasure and pain alikeois palpably to the fore. Supremely moving.
France, 1999. English subtitles. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 105 min.

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