Barely a few months after the Cannes screening of his film Stars at noon, the work of Claire Denis is again screened in theaters. His last feature film, With love and determination, out August 31. In this drama built around a love triangle, carried by a game without false notes by Vincent Lindon and Juliette Binoche, the filmmaker explores the facets of desire and love without managing to embark us completely in this adaptation of the novel. A turning point in life by Christine Angot.
Sara (Juliette Binoche) and Jean (Vincent Lindon) love each other. Their love irradiates the screen from the first scene (very successful). They live in the Parisian apartment of Sara, a journalist with Radio France Internationale (RFI). Jean, a former convict and once a rugby player, finds work in the brand new company of François (Grégoire Colin), Sara’s ex, whom Sara left for Jean several years earlier.
Suddenly seeing the man with whom Sara had a passionate relationship sparks a fire in her relationship with Jean. For his part, the latter is trying to rebuild his relationship with his son Marcus (Issa Periga), whom he had from a previous relationship. The young man lives with his grandmother Nelly (Bulle Ogier).
Much of the plot takes place inside Sara’s apartment, the place of the couple’s intimacy and the journalist’s contradictory feelings, plagued by both her desire for her ex-companion François and to her desire to preserve her relationship with Jean. Claire Denis addresses with acuity certain aspects of the construction of the desire of a woman who allows herself to live her aspirations, at the risk of suffering from them. Surrounded by men rushing headlong and without asking questions in their own projects and desires, she seeks a form of freedom.
The filmmaker also radiographs with precision, within the couple that is torn apart, the mechanisms of avoidance, of hypocritical benevolence, and of hidden pride in conversations. Until the explosion: the argument, the cries, the tears. The film owes a lot to the remarkable acting of its two main performers.
But beyond the performance of Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon, it is difficult to fully enter into this story. Blame it on a staging that suffers from a problem of dosage. Certain sequences accentuate their dramatic tones so much that they become almost caricatural. Throughout the film, unbearable violins constantly punctuate the actions, at the risk of diluting the spectator’s emotion in their continual sobs.
Certain aspects of the characters’ story, for example the relationship between Jean and his son, are not really explored and seem to fall like a hair on the soup in the middle of the love story. We leave the session without having really been able to empathize with the characters. They remain distant figures, and our emotions with them.
Gender : drama, romance
Director: Claire Dennis
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, Gregoire Colin
Country : France
Duration : 1h56
Exit : August 31, 2022
Distributer : Ad Vitam
Summary: It’s Paris and it’s already winter. Sara and Jean love each other, they have been living together for several years. It is a love that makes them happy and stronger. They trust each other. Desire never faded. One morning, Sara bumps into François, her former lover, this François who introduced her to Jean, this François whom she left for Jean without hesitation.