As pretty and shallow as its protagonist, Ozon’s film proffers yet another variation on the ‘Le Feu Follet’ theme, with thirtysomething gay fashion photographer Romain (Poupaud) learning he has only months to live and embarking on a geographical/spiritual journey that allows him to come to terms with family, friends, lover and himself. Despite the evident and admirable determination to avoid sentimentality and an overly sympathetic ‘hero’, the film never really amounts to more than a string of clichés and stereotypes (Moreau’s feisty soulmate of a grandmother being an obvious example). An encounter with a waitress (Bruni-Tedeschi) and her husband is implausible and contrived, while the final scenes suggest Ozon may possibly have read/seen ‘Death in Venice’ once too often. And the unfortunate use of music by Preisner and Silvestrov on the soundtrack is symptomatic of the superficiality of the film as a whole.
Friday May 12 2006
Cast and crew
Melvil Poupaud Jeanne Moreau Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi Christian Sengewald Daniel Duval Marie Rivière Louise-Anne Hippeau