Petites Coupures Review

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A middle-aged intellectual's long-held certainties are beginning to crumble, and he starts to get bored of both his wife and mistress.


Unable to sustain the humour of its opening scene, Pascal Bonitzer's third feature suffers from the problem that blighted his second. As in Rien Sur Robert, he focuses on a middle-aged intellectual whose long-held certainties are beginning to crumble.

But too few of the encounters lead anywhere or pass more than superficial comment on Marxist journalist Daniel Auteuil's domestic or political travails. It's difficult to sympathise with his ennui with wife Emmanuelle Devos and mistress Ludivine Sagnier, or take his side when he receives a little of his own medicine from Kristin Scott Thomas, the emotionally stunted trophy wife he falls for in Grenoble.

Most fatal is the ponderous pace which prevents a potentially sophisticated farce from gathering any momentum.

A fatal combination of slow pacing and superficiality blight this French farce.