23 March 2010 | murray-morison
Love has its reasons
Kristin Scott Thomas holds this very French love triangle drama together through exquisitely nuanced acting. The one leap of faith for the audience is that she, a great beauty, would fall for the local handyman, Ivan; but love has its own logic and the possibility does not stretch credulity. The way they get together involves some of the most amusing sequences in the film, ably directed by Catherine Corsini. The action centers entirely, apart from one telling sequence, around Suzanne. We see the story through her eyes, a woman hopelessly in love.
Her husband Samuel, played convincingly by Yvan Attal, is devastated at the prospect of losing his wife. He is a pillar of the local establishment of a provincial town in South West France. He will use his power to keep her in line. Do watch for the moment, recognisable to all parents who have teenage children, when Suzanne, having prepared a roast chicken for the evening, is informed by her son that "he had chicken for lunch". The film has many such vignette moments and you will find both the dilemmas and the way they are presented, returning to you long after the film has concluded.
A Truffaut like moral tale it is small in scale but nevertheless a perfect vehicle for the emotional range of Kristin Scott Thomas.