|Villa des Roses|
There's a lot more, as this is one of those films jammed to the brim with colourful characters, each of whom has his or her own little storyline. Not to mention symbolism up the wazoo. But the love story is the core of the film, and the problem is that it's just not believable or compelling. It is quite revealing, however, as it delves uncomfortably close to the reasons we enter relationships to begin with (mostly selfish ones). But the film sits awkwardly on the fence between quirky dark comedy and romantic tragedy. It's neither, really, so the dense and heavily stylized production design, superb camera work and excellent performances all seem to hang on the screen promising much more than the film as a whole delivers. There are also far too many loose ends in the story, characters who appear and disappear without explanation, and a general lack of energy or drive. That said, it's still a fascinating film, weaving the various plot strands with the build-up to the First World War with subtlety and artistry.
dir Frank Van Passel|
scr Christophe Dirickx
with Julie Delpy, Shaun Dingwall, Shirley Henderson, Timothy West, Harriet Walter, Frank Vercruyssen, Toni Barry, Jan Decleir, Dora van der Groen, Stephane Excoffier, Gary Whelan, Alfredo Pea
release UK 11.Oct.02
True love? Richard and Louise (Dingwall and Delpy) in happy times....
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