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Friday, May 30, 2008

ROIS ET REINE/KINGS AND QUEEN (2004)

Involving French family drama about a single mom ((Emmanuelle Devos) & the men in her life: her fast-fading intellectual dad; the college boy who killed himself before their son was born; a manic/eccentric violist who helped raise him (the remarkable Mathieu Amalric) & the rich fiance she believes is her path to contentment. In spite of his jerky, attention-deficit technique (tiny jump cuts & time shifting abound), helmer Arnaud Desplechin manages his puzzle plot with aplomb for the first half (a sudden appearance of the still young/long dead father is worthy of Mizoguchi), but the convenience of plot machinations in part two comes close to defeating our patience. (Although watch for a perfectly staged Convenience Store robbery attempt.) But with stunt casting like Catherine Deneuve, in a supporting role as a startlingly matter-of-fact psychiatrist during Amalric’s sanatarium stay, interest never sags.

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