Starring Kirsten Scott Thomas as Suzanne
and Segei Lopez as Ivan
This fiercely emotional French film from Catherine Corsini, conceived on traditional, almost classical lines: a marital tragedy. It's comparable in some ways to Scott Thomas plays Suzanne, an English-born woman married to prosperous and socially well-connected doctor Samuel in the south of France. Their children having almost grown up, Suzanne has taken it into her head to train as a physiotherapist, a plan to which Samuel has assented with ill grace, and grumbles about paying to convert an outbuilding on their property into her treatment suite. Suzanne's consciousness of how disagreeable Samuel is being about this, and how much he appears to resent the new separateness in her identity, coincides with a spark between her and the rugged Spanish workman they have hired: Ivan. The affair triggers an explosion of hate from the icily obnoxious Samuel, which in turn fosters a defiant passion in Suzanne. Scott Thomas gives an arrestingly transparent performance: at crucial moments dropping her social mask and revealing a girlish expression of shock, as if stunned by the realisation of what Ivan means to her, how much she is throwing away, and how little it matters.
This a good relaxing film, for a night in with chocolates,wine and friends.