COUNTRY:             FRANCE 1984
MUSIC:                   Various. Chants by Klaus Nomi
CAST:                     Sandrine Bonnaire, Evelyne Ker, Maurice Pialat, Dominique Besnehard
WRITTEN BY:        Maurice Pialat
SUPER FEATURES: Emotional story.

A dysfunctional family is falling apart. And the ones that suffer the most are the teenagers. The father has been having an affair and has made plans to leave the house. The daughter has a boyfriend and the mother does not approve of her behavior. And the son commits himself to keeping the family's business running while the mother is going through her tantrums.

There really is no solution, just some acceptance of the fact that things are far from perfect. The mother has the hardest time accepting this, and takes it out on her daughter, no doubt suggesting that she made the same errors in her earlier days which have brought her to the current situation.

There is really no solution to the whole thing, and as is the case with another film maker in France, this is just another day in the life of these people. No solutions or suggestions are made.

This reminds me of Godard's theme at one time that he would like to make a political film instead of a film about politics. So he tears down the fourth wall, and let's us see the whole thing from all sides and angles. The result, is a film that only allows you to follow the emotional outbursts, and avoid any serious conclusions about any thing. We do know one thing. This family is pretty much broken up and where it is going is not something anyone knows, or expect to know very soon.

The acting, is the strong point in this film. It manages to keep the tempestuous people alive and fighting for their own space, amidst little sub-plots here and there. The son has to side with the mother, and really does not dislike his sister, but he is forced to play dad, since he is not around. The father comes and goes when he pleases, since he is paying the rent, which he is about to stop, probably because he is out of a job.

Where will it all lead is the question, and since we do not get these, and any, answers, the film is likely to be a frustrating adventure for many. But the acting is tough, and solid, and very well prepared. There is no lack of consistency between any of the parts in the film. It takes no sides.

Well directed, considering the small script. It appears ad-libbed many times, but this is to its advantage in this specific situation.




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