7 September 2001 | petershelleyau
aka Sincerely Charlotte
Caroline Huppert cowrote and directed this vehicle for her sister, Isabelle, the tale of one of those infuriating amoral child-women who are always in trouble and men are always suckers for. Isabelle begins as a disco-nightclub singer styled as a cross between early Madonna and Peter Pan, where she sings Souvenirs Chiffonnes, with lyrics by Caroline and music by Phillippe Sardre. This awful pop ditty is slowed down to provide the melancholy romantic theme of the film. The clue that director Huppert doesn't intend the narrative to be taken too seriously is in actress Huppert's apparent fortune in escaping police capture for the mysterious death of her lover, and her natural screen empathy which makes her an unlikely femme fatale, despite the Rashomon-style interpretations of the killing. Director Huppert may be attempting a chase similar to Bonnie and Clyde, with former boyf Niels Arestrup as her Clyde, but at one point Isabelle Huppert cracks "You better be careful. You're travelling with public enemy number 1". The screenplay by director Huppert, Luc Beraud and Joelle Goron provides a triangle as Arestrup is engaged to Christine Pascal and has a son, but what is more interesting than the standard return of the old girlf to create obstacles, is the way Pascal is presented. Maybe because she is French, this woman's reaction to a possible threat is rational and pleasingly non-hysterical though still staking a claim for her man, the dynamic perfectly realised when Pascal meets with Huppert. I like the way director Huppert uses broken glass in slow motion for a car crash, a cut from actress Huppert in frantic closeup to a radiant child in closeup, and the 180 degree pan of police cars from Huppert and Arestrup's point of view back to the where they no longer are.