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Mélanie Thierry and Bioley in an adaptation of Duras

With a well thought-out casting - Mélanie Thierry, Benjamin Biolay and Benoit Magimel- film director, Emmanuel Finkiel, manages to perfectly adapt a monument of literature. While he may not be the first to transpose Marguerite Duras into images (Hiroshima mon amour, Moderato Cantabile, The Lover), he does it here with great ability and special grace.

To rediscover a great classic of French literature

In this autobiographical narration, Marguerite Duras, novelist, screen writer and director of 17 films, unveils a less well-known part of her life: waiting for her young husband, writer and resistant Robert Anselme, deported in a Nazi concentration camp in 1944. Marguerite is only 30 -years-old and lives in Paris. A single woman during the end of the war in Paris, working in a publishing house and a very young writer, the is very active meeting with her group of resistant’s, goes every day to the gare d’Orsay to welcome freed prisoners and does a good holding her head up high when it come to the authorities. The lack of a loved one and the hope or return bring about depressive bouts inside her... But the waiting is little by little is replaced by detachment and adultery with Dionys, the best friend of Robert, incarnated by a Bioley more real than nature.

For Mélanie Thierry in her best role

The actress is stunning as the incarnation of her character’s strengths and fragilities with a solid personality. Without makeup, but glowing —her faced bloated with despair­—speaking with a subtly Duras-like diction, she enters with exceptional ease into the skin of a Duras who oscillates between entre despair and determination, sadness and anger, anxiety and the guilt of loving someone else. Next to Benjamin Biolay and Benoît Magimel who plays the collaborator, passionate about literature and seduced by the the yourn writer, the actress of La princesse de Montpensier takes up all the screen. An award for the role of best actress during the ceremony at Châtelet on March 2nd would be well deserved.

Because the directing deserves a César award

Admirably written, the film changes the chronology of the events in the novel, but at no point ruffles the text: with, as voice-over, the reading of longs passages from the book by Mélanie Thierry, making you dive instantly into the universe of the writer. In this electric ambiance of the Occupation, perfectly retranscribed, the tension of hope rises so high it becomes almost unbearable (the soulful violins have a lot to do with it). During two hours, Emmanuel Finkiel reproduces right to the point the tormented soul of his heroine, even if he gives us very abstract mages that titillate the interpretation of the spectator. When Robert does not come back after the Libération and Marguerite falls apart, the wait is illustrated by a women on the edge of folly that doubles up in vagueness and the light of her apartment, chain smokes cigarettes with as background the tic toc of a clock. Riveting.

film la douleur

La Douleur, en salle le mercredi 24 janvier 2018.

Héloïse Rocca

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