The Big Picture

Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
Romain Duris in The Big Picture
Romain Duris in The Big Picture

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
The always watchable Romain Duris holds together this wonky but not unappealing combo of liberating fantasy, cautionary tale and suspense thriller. Duris always looks like Monsieur Scruff in a suit, so he’s spot-on casting as a successful Parisian lawyer who’s got the trophy wife, the beautiful house, the cute kids… but still isn’t fulfilled. Better not to know any more than that going in – suffice to say that the course of his life is turned by one moment of emotional volatility, opening up a new avenue of exotic adventure and the creative expression he’s always craved. Except that it may not be quite so easy to become the man he’s always wanted to be.

It plays a bit like Antonioni’s ‘The Passenger’ as remade by Claude Lelouch, where a modicum of chin-scratching about identity and happiness are dressed up in a decorative if at times flagrantly unlikely storyline. Director Eric Lartigau is sensitive to the story’s ever-changing milieux, which helps ground things a bit, and he knows the value of good casting – hence Catherine Deneuve rather generously pops up as Duris’s insightful law-office superior, and resplendently gnarled Niels Arestrup (his old dad in ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’) provides a best-undisclosed cameo towards the sharp end of the tale.

Adapted from the 1997 novel by Douglas Kennedy, an American who’s become a bestseller in France, it’s the arthouse-movie equivalent of a good beach read: eminently diverting but perhaps not destined to leave a lasting impression.

Posted:

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday July 22 2011
Duration:
115 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Eric Lartigau
Cast:
Romain Duris
Marina Fois
Niels Arestrup