The word separation is an interesting word because it has two polar opposite emotions associated with it. A person would be relieved and happy to be separated from someone who was toxic to them. I can understand the feeling that would come over someone after being in an abusive relationship; in this case separating oneself would be a healthy thing. After being harnessed to a yoke, dragging fear and despair with them everywhere, the feelings of leaving has to be monumental. When there are people you love such as family, friends, or soul mates; a separation from them can feel as if your breath never quite fills your lungs, taxing your heart’s beat. Being apart from them can be sad and painful, where you worry each memory filled tear running down your face will feel like loved ones slipping away from you. It seems to me the act of separation can have a powerful affect on an individual. In this film festival winning movie being separated from his 2 children was more than 40 year old Xavier Rousseau, played by Romain Duris (Heartbreaker, The Beat That My Heart Skipped), could bear. When Wendy, played by Kelly Reilly (Flight, Sherlock Holmes franchise), the mother of his 2 kids decided to leave France and move to New York City, Xavier decided to follow and settle down near them in the foreign land. He would soon discover it was not an easy thing to do. This dramatic comedy had a lot going for it. I did not know this film was the third in a series, the two previous being L’Auberge Espagnole and Russian Dolls. After viewing this romantic movie I wished I had seen the previous ones because I felt I was missing out on something. The cast had an easy flow going between each other and were all believable. Part of the cast also included Audrey Tautou (Coco Before Chanel, The Da Vinci Code) as Martine and Cecile De France (Hereafter, High Tension) as Isabelle. The story essentially had no major potholes in it, things were pretty much kept at an even keel and that would be my major complaint. I did not find much contrast between any of the scenes; there was a chuckle here, a touching moment there. As I said before maybe my reaction would have been different if I had more history with the characters, watching them in their previous films. Granted I had very little negative things to say about the movie; I just felt a little left out. There was English, French, Spanish and Chinese languages spoken with English subtitles when needed.
2 2/3 stars
There are some people who have an item in their home that reminds them of a deceased friend or family member. I, myself, have a ceramic vase that belonged to a close friend, who passed away some years ago. In an amazing feat of acting, I understood the ferocity Cyril Catoul, played by Thomas Doret, displayed in keeping the bicycle his father had given him. This is the same father who abandoned his young son to a state run youth home. The opening scene immediately pulled at one’s heart strings as Cyril kept dialing his father’s phone number, only to hear that it was disconnected. From this heart wrenching scene the viewer was a witness to Cyril’s desperate struggle to escape and reunite with hs father. For a relative newcomer, Thomas was outstanding in his portrayal of Cyril. The other incredible performance was from Cecile De France (Hereafter, Around the World in 80 Days) who played Samantha, the local hairdresser who somehow understood Cyril’s plight. From a chance meeting, she shortly agreed to foster home Cyril on the weekends. What we have here are two broken individuals who needed the other to become whole. The tension and the acting sustained a high level throught the first half of the movie. But in the second half, things began to lose their intensity and I felt let down, along with being disappointed in the ending of this movie. French with English subtitles.
2 2/3 stars