Jacques Audiard’s sixth feature film premiered at Cannes last year to exceptional reviews, and a keen word of mouth carried it across the world picking up a handful of Césars as well as being recognised in the inaugural BFI London Film Festival awards as Best Film.
Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts are our leads in this tale of a penniless man and his son finding their feet in a new part of the world and the ray of sunshine a tragic event sheds on the lives of those involved. An accident at a marine park leaves Cotillard’s character weary and depressed and it is the connection she makes with Schoenaerts’ Alain which helps the two of them survive their respective futures.
The interaction between the two is engaging and frustrating in equal measure; this is no ordinary love story. It is two people unversed in the language of the other (culturally, socially, romantically) finding a common voice. The open relationship they insist on becomes fractious and erosive, but there is a spark which keeps it alive. Much as Audiard achieved in his previous work there is a quiet and unassuming air of melodrama at play here. The emotions are fierce and complicated, the love song disharmonious and the path strewn with obstacles. Alain’s son has a vital role to play in the final act and it is the work built up in the early part of the film which pays off handsomely.
The Blu-ray has a number of deleted scenes, a trailer and a quick look at some of the before and after special effects shots. The FX piece is short and simply a case of one shot blending into another but the work done is astonishing well realised in the film and in the shots here. The key feature is the hour long making of documentary which weaves the story of the production around a candid on-set interview with Audiard. The director talks us through his process, his frustrations and his enchantment at the hands of Marion Cotillard in particular. It’s a perfectly decent accompaniment to the film and gives a great insight into Audiard’s take on the story, that of two people falling through the complicated process of finding love and the words to express themselves.