9 July 2016 | dbdumonteil
Middle class blues
"Awakening is the worst time;I feel time is passing me by and life goes on without me ",says François (voice over) when he gets up of bed and draws a (rather puerile) rebus to tell Isa he loves her.
François and Isa,nearing fifty ,live a routine life ;we never see them work,but we guess they belong to the middle class,and they don't seem to have any children ,although there are bizarre hints sometimes.
François goes through a crisis of confidence and a crisis of conscience;a very anxious man,"these foolish things" (buying new clothes,DIT,or piano) do not satisfy anymore and he confides in his best friend ,but his wife does not seem to really care and she does not open easily.
This is the main subject: a couple has been living together for years,and when the movie is over,they really meet and communicate for the first time,although the future remains rather bleak.
François's best friend -a bachelor who ends up married in the film) acts as an occasional marriage guidance consultant as well as the philosopher (sometimes a bit "fortune cookie" ).The secret which concerns François's father and himself is rather disappointing,a damp squid indeed.
All that concerns Isa is more interesting: she looks like a sleepwalker,and we mistake her for a hypochondriac but some clues are given to the viewer: the people ,who intervenes now and them ,talking about their problems who does not seem to have a connection with the plot (but you should never go by appearance);the vodka bottle incident; the "dead soldier" in the piano;and her absent ,remote ,look.
Three aces :Campan himself ,Karine Viard ,and Jean-Hugues Anglade give the characters substance ,and even though you may feel like yawning sometimes,they carry a movie,the screenplay of which is rather derivative ;what is definitely lacking is a little humor: sometimes too talky ,too "highbrow",it takes all the talent of the three principals to make the viewer sit through the movie,which met mixed critical reception.