Nightfall in wintry Paris. Laure (Lemercier), aged thirty-plus, has spent Friday packing up her flat, a prelude to moving in with her boyfriend. Her plan is to drive over to her friends' place for dinner, but streets gridlocked by a transport strike halt her progress. Moments after a radio announcer suggests motorists should offer help to stranded pedestrians, Laure is sharing her vehicle with taciturn Jean (Lindon), and the evening develops from there. Desire in Denis' films has often been a disruptive factor, yet this sensual divertissement offers its fairly ordinary female protagonist a guilt-free liberation, possibly temporary, from the confines of a steady relationship. It's not a matter of transgressive, predatory or premeditated sexuality, however. Rather, it's Lemercier realising she can allow herself a moment of sexual self-expression when circumstances unexpectedly permit. A facilitator rather than a seducer, Lindon lends the movie an inclusive erotic charge very different from that found in standard male-oriented fantasy narratives. This is wonderfully alert film-making, vividly alive to the constant by-play between inner longings and everyday surroundings. Trust me, you'll be stirred in all the right places. (Based on the novel by Emmanuèle Bernheim.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Emmanuèle Bernheim, Claire Denis|
Hélène de Saint-Père