Place Vendôme

Film

Comedy drama

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Time Out says

Behind the glitzy façades of the Paris square, Place Vendôme, Vincent's (Fresson) jewellery company founders. His brother and other board associates suspect a history of gambles and dextrous semi-legal deals - involving Mafia connections and illicit gem cutting - but sit on their hands. His wife Marianne (Deneuve), showing all the tics and tropes of the long term alcoholic, once shared his profession, but now rarely shares even his bed. She keeps mainly to the shadows, until his untimely death forces her into a stocktaking which sees her confront not only duplicitous figures like Vincent's onetime lover Nathalie (Seigner), but also ghosts from her own past, including the dangerous Battistelli (Dutronc). Nicole Garcia's edgy psychological thriller doesn't succeed on every level, but offers many pleasures, notably the performances of the hangdog Bacri as Nathalie's cohort, the superb, Gabin-like Fresson, and Deneuve in a prize-winning study in dignity regained. The 'Scope camerawork is nuanced and varied, alternating Marianne's sombre chambers with the gleaming hi-tech of the boardroom. It's a Rolls-Royce entertainment of the old school with an intriguing modernist edge, glorying in a plot as tortuous (but sadly in the end as enervating) as a salesman's patter. As a suspenser, it's weak: Garcia's direction vacillates, but she often snaps back and grabs you.
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Release details

UK release:

1998

Duration:

118 mins

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