Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2023 5:44 pm 
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Divided families

Forty-two-year-old French director Rebecca Zlotkowski ([url=""]Belle Épine[/url], [url=""]Grand Central[/url], [url=""]An Easy Girl[/url]) focuses this time on a contemporary issue she had thought underrepresented in films. When a woman getting beyond childbearing age is still childless and single, she may connect with a married man with a young child and that child "of others" may become, by use and by dedication, the closest thing to a child of her own.

So it is with Rachel Friedmann (Virginie Effira) and Leila (Callie Ferreira-Goncalves), the little girl of her boyfriend Ali Ben Attia (Roschdy Zem), whose mother Alice (Chiara Mastroianni) is also in the picture. Ali obviously is of Arab descent. Rachel, like the filmmaker, is an ethnic Jew. This is not dwelt upon or seen as an issue. The real trouble is that Ali's is not a forever commitment to Rachel, as develops after Rachel has given a lot of time and emotional commitment to Leila.

What is Leila's position? Well, Leila is a young girl: she must go with the flow. She warms to Rachel. But she holds her feelings in check for a while; it's complicated. But while this is an engaging and well-acted drama, it may feel somewhat programmatic, and yet, paradoxically, a bit too vague and fluid, never quite hitting upon a decisive scene, its process not helped by loud periodic American-style song interludes.

This film features some of French cinema's most admired and popular stars. According to the standard French film website AlloCiné, this is the best received by both critics and public of Zlotkowskis five features. It may likewise be the most appealing French film of the year for the Anglophone audience - till they see Mia Hansen-Løve's [url=""]One Fine Morning[/url].

The Children of Others/Les Enfants des autres,104 mins., A Music Box Films release. Sept. 21, 2022 French release; AlloCiné press rating 4.1 (82%) Rendez-Vous with French Cinema (Mar. 2-12, 2022). Showtimes:
Friday, March 3 at 6:15pm (Q&A with Rebecca Zlotowski and Virginie Efira)
Sunday, March 12 at 1:00pm

©Chris Knipp. Blog:

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