The Things We Say, the Things We Do
- 2h 2min
Waiting for her boyfriend to join her on a country vacation, three months pregnant Daphne bonds with his cousin Maxime, and their shared intimacy brings them closer together into a full fled... Read allWaiting for her boyfriend to join her on a country vacation, three months pregnant Daphne bonds with his cousin Maxime, and their shared intimacy brings them closer together into a full fledged love affair.Waiting for her boyfriend to join her on a country vacation, three months pregnant Daphne bonds with his cousin Maxime, and their shared intimacy brings them closer together into a full fledged love affair.
Over two hours, Emmanuel Mouret (director and screenwriter) unfolds this admirable human comedy (in the Balzacian sense) of intertwined stories, with the motives of his characters centered on desire and love and the delicate balance between what They tell each other, what they do, what they feel, what they show (us), the tacit or explicit agreements and the imponderable. And he does it using different tones and genres and supported by extraordinary performances.
Maxime goes to a country house to spend a few days with his cousin Francois and Daphné, his partner. But Francois had to leave before his arrival and Maxime and Daphné will spend a few days alone chatting and revealing their respective sentimental stories.
Emmanuel Mouret (director and guinosta) achieves an admirable mosaic of intertwined stories. In the first place, there are two main stories, with their respective points of view: Daphné's and Maxime's, each developed with a different tone, with some voice-over introducing or commenting on the flashbacks that alternate. On the other hand, there is the present time, where the point of view is that of the spectator. Then other moments with other points of view will be added.
The inventory of situations is overwhelming, exposed without haste and without pause, with flirtations, friendships, courtships, couples, marriages and infidelities, always highlighting the difference between "what is said and what is done", to what I I would add "what it feels like."
And yes: it is a French film with a literary imprint where the characters talk a lot about what happens to them, but where they are also silent as much. The style of the story refers to various cinematographies, depending on which story and characters it is and at what point in the story we find ourselves: at times it seems like a Rohmer film and at others a very subtle humor close to Woody Allen appears, for example. Different tones of comedy (tangled, romantic, sentimental), melodrama and drama are combined, with extraordinary use of a soundtrack with classical music ranging from Purcell and Haydn to Poulenc. In this way, the sequence of scenes could also be assimilated to a series of recitatives and arias from a Mozart opera. But beyond the references and influences, the result is absolutely personal.
Far from causing dispersion, the script solidly interweaves the stories, sheds new light in their recesses and the dramatic crescendo is incessant, reaching an extremely emotional climax.
Within a solid cast, Niels Schneider stands out as Maxime, a timid aspiring writer (in the antipodes of the manipulative Philippe who played in An Impossible Love or the Object of Desire in Dolan's Imaginary Loves), Camélia Jordana who brings all her expressiveness to Daphné, a film editor, Vincent Macaigne as the endearing Francois, Daphne's partner and Émilie Dequenne's Louise, with all her surprising edges.
In sum, over the course of two hours, Mouret unfolds this remarkable human comedy in the Balzacian sense, with the motives of his characters centered on desire and love and the delicate balance between what they say to each other, what they do, what they feel, what (to us and is) shown and hidden, seduction games, tacit or explicit agreements, renunciations, confusion, the imponderable.
- Jul 17, 2021