La Confusion des Genres
dir-scr Ilan Duran Cohen
with Pascal Greggory, Nathalie Richard, Julie Gayet, Cyrille Thouvenin, Vincent Martinez, Alain Bashung, Bulle Ogier, Nelly Borgeaud, Valerie Stroh, Marie Saint-Dizier, Malik Faraoun
release London Film Fest Nov.00; St Louis Film Fest Nov.01
00/France 1h30 3 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
This unusually sharp French romantic drama is a storm of sexuality as its characters try to figure out who they should be drawn to ... and why. Alain (Greggory), a lawyer, agrees to marry his boss and friend (Richard) even though he's not sure who he's really attracted to--the young brother (Thouvenin) of an ex-girlfriend (Saint-Dizier), a new client (Martinez) who's been locked away for life, or maybe the client's estranged girlfriend (Gayet). Whatever, he's utterly confused about who he is, who he should be with, and most crucially who he should end up with.

The answers don't come easy (if at all), but the journey is thoroughly gripping as performed by the excellent cast. Greggory is especially good as the man at the centre of the tempest, driving everyone around him nuts with his indecision. Cohen's script and direction are marvellously sharp, witty and insightful, delving deep beneath the surface with intelligent observation and nuance that never take the obvious path ... and most importantly never moralise about the characters or the situations they get themselves into. Yes, it's rather irritating to watch these people complicate their lives so hopelessly, simply because they're unwilling to make a clear decision about how to live. But this is where the film hits a nerve--because which is more troublesome: indecision or a sure sense of direction?

[strong themes and situations, nudity, language] 16.Nov.00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall