27 December 2008 | gradyharp
The Pleasures of Film Noir
For those who share a delight in the very French film noir genre, TRIVIAL (La Disparue de Deauville) is sure to please. To attempt to outline the plot of this beautifully photographed and acted film would be to deny the viewer the pleasure of unraveling the mysteries that make up this at times obtuse story. But that is the pleasure of these films - just when you think you know what is happening, along comes an artsy twist that throws you for a loop.
Suffice it to say that the characters who grace the stage include a badly emotionally fractured policeman Jacques (Christophe Lambert) who in attempting to recuperate from the loss of his wife encounters a mysterious woman who seems to be the reincarnation of an actress who died in an automobile accident 36 years ago. Jacques must wrestle with reality to answer his duty to investigate a death of the owner of the glamorous Hotel Riviera - an investigation that introduces him to the wheelchair-ridden wife, her son, and clues as to the clandestine affair the owner had been having. The woman of mystery appears in strange moments: is she real or an illusion? In the end the secrets of the strange hotel owner family background and the cases of missing persons all come to rest in a seductive caper: we should have seen it coming but that is the delight of film noir.
The very beautiful and talented Sophie Marceau had the idea for the story (she plays the dual roles of the deceased actress phantom and the love interest) , wrote the screenplay (with Gianguido Spinelli, Jacques Deschamps, and Rania Meziani), and directs the film with the flow of an Alain Renais work. The supporting cast is likewise excellent and the entire production has that rare mystery of French glow. In French with English subtitles. Grady Harp