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La Séparation

'We have to change our way of living.' So says Ingrid Bergman in the Rossellini film Pierre (Auteuil) and Anne (Huppert) go to see shortly before she feels moved to tell him she's fallen in love with another man. And Ingrid's right: Pierre and Anne may have been comfortable together for years - they're well-off, they have a smart apartment, a two-year-old son, supportive friends - but while Anne's admission seems at first barely to impinge on Pierre's consciousness, pretty soon he's suffering wild swings of emotion. Could they stay together? Will she leave? Should he throw her out? Whatever, the entire edifice of the relationship they've built up over the years looks set to crumble. Plotwise, that's about it in this study of a disintegrating partnership, but no matter: the film (a subtle, intelligent adaptation of Dan Franck's perceptive but rather indulgent novel) is about the minute shifts in power that occur as Anne tries to make up her mind about her future and Pierre attempts to keep up with or even forestall her changing behaviour. Happily, Vincent is beautifully served by the performers, with Huppert and Auteuil equally superb as the couple striving, against all odds, to emerge intact from a nightmare scenario.

Release details

Duration: 88 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Christian Vincent
Screenwriter: Dan Franck, Christian Vincent
Cast: Daniel Auteuil
Isabelle Huppert
Jérôme Deschamps
Karin Viard
Laurence Lerel
Louis Vincent
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