Carax's long-awaited follow-up to Les Amants du Pont-Neuf is a misguided and narcissistic update of Melville's Pierre, or the Ambiguities. A well-to-do Normandy writer, Depardieu, abandons his carefree life with his adoring mother and girlfriend after meeting a ghostly refugee from the Balkans, who may or may not be his sister. Taking off for Paris and a life of frenzied, impoverished creativity (in a grim commune peopled by artistic types who wouldn't look out of place as the Nihilists in The Big Lebowski), he retreats further and further from society. The first part is merely dull and vacuous; thereafter the film slides into absurdly pretentious bluster (or a 'raging morass, full of plagiarism', as the hero's publishers would put it) which, it seems, has far less to do with modern realities than with Carax's nonsensically romanticised vision of himself. Woeful. (In the end, perhaps, it is most notable for securing an increasingly rare Scott Walker recording for its soundtrack.