Failing to find the courage to commit suicide after her composer husband and infant daughter die in a car crash, Julie (Juliette Binoche) decides to build herself a new, anonymous and wholly independent life. Leaving her country mansion and would-be lover for a rented apartment in Paris, she soon finds that freedom in not as easy to achieve as she hoped.
Kieslowski’s filmothe first of three inspired by the ideals of the French Revolutionois an arresting study of notions of individual freedom in the modern world. There’s no facile moralising here, but simply a lucid examination of a woman’s state of mind. Binoche responds to Kieslowski’s precise, probing direction with her best work yet: quite, strong, stubborn and deeply aware that the heart hold mysteries neither we nor those close to us will ever understand. It’s in this last register that Kieslowski’s masterly film achieves its most sublime, enthralling coup: a final, profoundly moving admission that however much we may shun human contact, love, compassion and some sort of faith in powers unseen touch us all.