27 July 1999 | allyjack
Good middlebrow movie-making, when not akin to a Hollywood psycho flick
The movie builds to an inevitably tragic climax, then - more than a little jarringly - director Miller literally rewinds the film back to the penultimate step in the drama, when Depardieu held his lost love with a vision of perfect romantic unity: the moment of fulfillment in which he'll presumably spend the rest of his deranged life. The movie for most of its length is intriguing as an escalating story of obsession, but never really gets a handle on Depardieu's problem, which makes the later developments akin to those you'd find in a Hollywood-type psycho flick, and not that much more restrained. His particular journey is less artistically interesting than the secondary structure of Miou-Miou's obsession with him and the other man's thing for her, which suggests a perpetual domino effect of misplaced ideals and dreams; however, this is never really played out and everything ultimately depends on the central story. When not letting fly, the movie has the restrained observation and visual taste of good middlebrow French movie-making and the overall air of wistful yearning and pain is pretty effective; the setting in the snow is especially striking.