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[CRITICAL] A LIFE

It is a divide that seems to separate LIFE and the Law of The Market, the previous film by Stéphane Brizé. The chronic social quasi-documentary leaves room for an adaptation of the first book of the same name by guy de Maupassant, located in 1819. The occasion for the French director to get in his cinema a lyrical outpouring, which allows him to indulge in all sorts of proposals sophisticated. It identifies the good aesthetics that took place when, as soon as the first image, we find ourselves in front of a square format. All of a sudden, one has the impression of seeing Stéphane Brizé reconnect with the film and its artifices. As if he needed a break with everything that comprised the feature-length film, for which he won the 2014 César for the best director. Stéphane Brizé has already said that his desire to adapt the novel came years ago when it was discovered but the fact that it passes to the act battery after such a long film proves that the sequence is not the fruit of chance but is motivated by a reflection, a search for evolution or fracture.If the Law of The Market was a movie loud full of replicas and sounds, A LIFE is a minimum of dialogue, and gives a major importance to the sound. The wind that shake the leaves, the sea, the crackling fire. It is the life that is transcribed on the screen, with small sounds, those that seem trivial and yet, thanks to the mix take a other stature. The naturalism becomes magical, unreal. For this reason, the vision in a movie theater is advocated, the film tailor-made for the big screen can deliver its greatness from the atmosphere as through its terms and conditions.

The image is not at rest. A LIFE means and looks. Stéphane Brizé opted for a square frame in order to mark the confinement, psychological and physical of her heroine. The process is admittedly a bit hyperbolic, it is recognized to be a form of efficiency, although it is not always transcended by the stage. Where the long film is more impressive it is in its use courageous of the mount to hold a story supposed to take place over 30 years. Flashbacks and ellipses are in the program in a sophisticated construction that never ceases to bounce back and forth between the layers temporal. In a cut, everything can change. Anytime. What gives in times the most inspired, a dimension that is absolutely dizzying in the story. We find ourselves sucked into a whirlwind of contrary emotions, startling revelations, as if the life was a roller compressor, impossible to stop, exposing sentencieusement its programme in charge of fate.

“In a cut, everything can change. What gives in times the most inspired, a dimension that is absolutely dizzying in the story.”

In spite of the virtuosity deployed, the intensity of the process is reduced past the first hour. Without doubt the spectator is familiar with and the narrative is no longer capable of sustaining our attention by events, the film loses. Then LIFE continued on in a monotone, following its course. Rest Judith Chemla, divine in its role. After Vincent Lindon, Stéphane Brizé is a woman in the same vein, able to express themselves as private reply. Rare are the actors that can be at this point vectors of emotions by remaining rooted in a natural and minimalist. The greatest success of the film because of getting to capture it on his face, without a word, the power of events.

Maxime Bedini

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