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An Impossible Love

Un amour impossible

Rising star Virginie Efira headlines Catherine Corsini’s powerful, moving drama about how the torments of love are carried on from generation to generation.

Dir Catherine Corsini
Prod Elisabeth Perez
Scr Catherine Corsini, Laurette Polmanss
With Virginie Efira, Niels Schneider, Jehnny Beth
France
2018
135min
Sales Le Pacte
Subtitles

Based on a book by controversial French novelist Christine Angot – Claire Denis’ co-writer on Let the Sunshine In – Corsini’s film begins in the 1950s, as office worker Rachel (Efira) falls for the dashing Philippe (Niels Schneider), a Nietzsche-reading sophisticate. They embark on a passionate relationship but he won’t share his life with her, and she raises their daughter Chantal alone. Years later, the darker side of Philippe’s nature emerges shockingly. Superbly performed and directed, this is a hugely impressive work by Corsini (Summertime, Leaving), its meticulous period recreation and potent feminist voice echoing the prime 1980s work of Diane Kurys. Efira – also in the LFF with Keep Going – is formidable, and Savages singer Jehnny Beth makes a striking appearance as the adult Chantal.

Jonathan Romney

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