After Love (L'Economie du couple) 3.0 stars

After Love (L'Economie du couple) movie poster

The opening long take and the quietly unexpected off-camera appearance by the film’s shamefaced lead character set the tone for this powerful family melodrama. For most of its running time, director and co-writer Joachim Lafosse gives the impression that he’s drilled a hole into the side of a married couple’s home in order to afford audiences an unmediated, worm’s eye view of their gradual dissolution. While waiting for the divorce to be finalized, husband Boris (Cédric Kahn) continues to live with wife Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and their twin daugthers in her childhood home. As time passes, community property gradually takes precedence over child custody. It’s quite correct that the majority of the film should be confined to three or four rooms; that way, one quick cut or slight camera movement is enough to cast a pall over any effort to work things out. Only the scene where Boris interrupts Marie’s casual dinner party — he gets invited to have a drink, only to be scolded for accepting the offer — rings false. 2016.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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