Andr Tchin loves messy, outsize emotions, as his Thieves (1996) and Alice and Martin (1998) amply illustrate. He also loves working with Catherine Deneuve; their collaboration began with Hotel of the Americas in 1981—coincidentally, just a year after Deneuve acted opposite Grard Depardieu in their most famous pairing, in Franois Truffaut’s The Last Metro.
Elegant but busy, Tchin’s latest gracefully plays on the iconic status of its leads. As Ccile, a DJ for the lovelorn in Tangier, Morocco,who’s stuck in a fractious marriage to a local doctor, Deneuve shares an awkward reunion with Antoine (Depardieu), a real-estate developer who still hasn’t gotten over her 30 years after she left him. Both actors have thickened; when Ccile looks at herself in the mirror before a pity shag with her ardent ex-suitor, it’s as if Deneuve has resigned herself to her body’s natural morphing (at least below the neck). The onscreen rapprochement of the reigning roi et reine of French cinema would’ve provided more than enough narrative heft, but the story becomes cluttered with too many threads, involving Ccile’s bisexual son, Sami (Zidi), and Sami’s girlfriend, who slips into tranquilizer addiction after her devout Muslim twin refuses to see her. Why not simply print the legends? (Opens Fri; Paris.) — Melissa Anderson