The Story That Téchiné Loved Too Much

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhBUyZuPdCg[/embedyt]Sometimes directors fall in love with a story and in their stumble they lose or disregard the cinematic plot in favor of the part promised to their best friend. And this is what destroyed André Téchiné’s potential Greek tragedy. Instead of telling us the story of a rich and unstable brat who wants to get even with her mother by siding with the Italian mafia and their hired gun, Mr. Maurice Agnelet, French director Téchiné chose to tell us about l’affaire  Catherine Deneuve Le Roux.

Everybody loves to see a rich brat conned by someone more alive or just more interesting. Here the brat was some heir and the interesting man was an ambitious and unscrupulous lawyer (I know an oxymoron) Maurice Agnelet. It happened sometime in 1977. But nothing, not even the death of this rather appalling heir stopped the director’s cut here.

The camera continued to roll and the story covered all the decades from the disco to the hip-hop era. This second part of the movie feels like a dangling participle because it focuses on the maternal revenge. There is no apparent reason for the mother, aka Catherine Deneuve, to spend three decades pursuing her estranged daughter’s assassin at the expense of her well-being, the underlining reason for her daughter’s battiness and bratiness.

In other words there is little reason for us to follow Téchinée’s failure to direct a great story for the  benefit of directing some biopic  which would allow Mme Deneuve, the brat’s mother, prove that she has thespian range: first angered and then defeated.

Am I happy I saw the movie? Yes, because I saw it at Cinema Bercy in pleasant company while having a sip of something the theater sells at its well-assorted bar. The actors’ performance, as well as the cinematography were worth the price.

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SOOUR GRAPES

BY DANA NEACSU: The Story That Téchiné Loved Too Much

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About the Author: Dana Neacsu

Dana was born in Romania, on May 20, 1933 at exactly 9:52 PM, according to official records. Dana loves NYC and her spirited girls, Zoe and Izzie, in reverse order. She teaches legal research, writes bloody novels, and was awarded a PhD for watching late night TV.