5 October 2003 | eyeseehot
A beautiful movie about the passage into middle age.
I loved this film. It's not really for kids. To appreciate it fully I think you have to be older. It's about the last moment of youth on the edge of the passage into middle age. It's about getting a sense of who you and the people around you really are.
Romy Schneider is beautiful and seems to incarnate this quiet but strong woman. In a way this is a woman's picture. It concentrates mainly on the women. The men are weaker, on the whole, but not in the programmatic way of bad "feminist" films. In one scene the women are cooking together, getting into a serious argument, then somebody spills something and they suddenly unite in cleaning it up. That might be an emblem of the movie. Tough things happen, but life goes on.
One of the remarkable qualities of this film is the thick sense of reality it gives--of a world of co-workers and friends which you never fully encompass. You're seeing a slice of life, and you feel there's much more life extending out in all directions.
The direction is subtle, understated but beautiful compositions and a lovely way of starting with a shot and then moving to another without a cut. Many frames are filled with people, and a sense, again, of thick life surrounding this story. Either I missed it when it came out, or didn't get it and forgot, but this time it was a revelation to me.