Les Amants Reguliers Review

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It's Paris of the late 1960's and all is politics and love.


Following Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers (in 2003), Louis Garrel revisits the Paris riots of May 1968 in this epic but ultimately frustrating treatise on politics, poetry and passion. Director Philippe Garrel and cinematographer William Lubtchansky superbly capture the visual spirit of these post-Nouvelle Vague times, but Garrel Jr.’s discussions of ideology and art with the indolent Julien Lucas too often tail off into a drug-fuelled incoherence that is nowhere near as compelling as his hopeless crush on free-spirit Clotilde Hesme.

This is undoubtedly an evocative mood-piece, revealing many Soixante-Huitards to be trendy bourgeois kids seeking thrills. But, despite its ambition and integrity, it lacks the intensity to engross.

Despite debunking some of the romantic myths surrounding this fascinating time, Philippe Garrel's ambitious May '68 epic is more interested in mood than drama and, thus, devotes too much time to posturing introspection.