A visually impressive, if sometimes psychologically unconvincing study of a woman, Cécile Cassard, who attempts to reclaim her life from grief after her husband's death in a car crash. Kieslowski's Blue is a narrative cousin, with Binoche's muteness and unpredictable behaviour echoed in Dalle's ascetic performance. However, with Cécile's child still alive but effectively abandoned after her mother's revivifying flight to the city, the film moves into its own territory, clear of that initial reference. Indeed, in its framing and deployment of space, The Red Desert, Antonioni's compelling take on female alienation, seems a more telling influence. Sombre, fragmented scenes offer stations on the journey through a world that is effectively shot to appear by turns hostile and mysterious in its workings on the damaged individual.