2 February 2021 | ulicknormanowen
We were not sisters till love misfortunes might have drawn us together.
Pouring disparagement over an Olivier Assayas ' work, a director à la mode , is not hip at all but ,in spite of good scenes (essentially due to supporting actors) , "une nouvelle vie" is overlong , pretentious , derivative and devoid of any dramatic progression ; the ending ,for instance does not make any sense ,considering the events which happened before.
Both Sophie Aubry and judith Godrèche are ,depending on whom you ask ,sublime or annoying :the former is,either a listless girl, which seems befuddled with tranquilizers (to be precise, lorazepam )or a termagant ;the latter is hardly better,with a namby-pamby acting , in a part the average viewer has seen at least a hundred times or more : the notary's secretary who is also his lover ( even the short S/M game ,one had already seen it Claude Chabrol 's " juste avant la nuit" (1971).
The disjointed screenplay does not help :in the first half ,the viewer is lost, who is who ? There is a spate of characters,some of whom have only one scene ,and this is rather confusing ,but it's perhaps meant to make the viewer feel he's watching an important,meaningful work,made for the cine buffs elite.
The late Bernard Giraudeau ,one of the best actors of his generation ,is wasted in a conventional part (the fickle husband ,but who comes back to his non-feminist wife ,in an unpleasant bourgeois way) .Philippe Torreton ,de la comedie française ,is up to scratch as ever in his thankless part ( there's a certain contempt for the working class) ;so is the moving Roger Dumas , who stands in serious danger of going blind .Bernard Verley makes his short appearance count (but 5000 francs per month to his illegitimate daughter? Who is he? Croesus? )So does seasoned Nelly Borgeaud .
Without the supporting cast , I would have given up well before the supposedly moving ending.