Monday, April 22, 2013

Talking Tribeca: Just a Sigh

I’ve had the pleasure of screening some feature-length and short selections from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 17th-28th.

Just a Sigh
Directed by Jérôme Bonnell
Festival Screenings

This French feature, part of the World Narrative Competition, follows a struggling French actress and her chance encounter with a mysterious English man in mourning on a train, which leads to hours of enchantment and a hypnotic diversion from the uncertainty of her everyday life. In the lead role is Emmanuelle Devos, who stole scenes in supporting roles in French films like “A Christmas Tale” and “Wild Grass,” here portraying the flawed and unreliable actress Alix. Gabriel Byrne, last seen regularly as a therapist on HBO’s “In Treatment,” is her unexpected suitor, who refuses to speak French and fulfills a fantasy for Alix of being swept up in a whirlwind affair. Before Alix even meets her dream man, she is painted as complex and layered, thanks both to a strongly-written script and Devos’ terrific lead performance. The film’s music makes its events melodramatic in the most effective fashion, and its cinematography is superb. This relatively ordinary story of two strangers in limbo becomes something entirely separate, a rare opportunity to become completely taken with a brief snapshot at the intersection of the lives of these two unhappy people.

See it or skip it? See it, even if you’re not entirely fond of subtitles.

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