Adapted by writer/director Benoît Jacquot from a novel by Pascal Quignard, Villa Amalia stars Isabelle Huppert (her fifth collaboration with the director) as Ann, a woman whose life is turned upside down after she witnesses her husband kissing another woman. In an extreme move, Ann decides to escape her life, discarding all of her belongings, her home and identity. Abandoning everything, that is, other than Georges (Jean- Hugues Anglade), an old friend she has recently become reacquainted with and has come to confide in.
Jacquot’s skill in telling this story lies in his restraint, always keeping Ann’s motivations at arms length. Far from being alienating, this serves to draw the audience further into her story her elusive nature is what attracts us, pulling us ever deeper into her world. It’s a hugely intelligent, enormously engaging film from Jacquot and features an especially fine performance from Huppert.