Pola X Review

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Pierre is about to marry Lucie, when he discovers his long lost sister, Isabelle. Pierre writes, the three embark on a bizzare love triangle, and depair ensues.


This ambitious but overwrought melodrama takes its moniker from the acronym for the French title of Herman Melville's novel, Pierre, Ou Les Ambiguites, and the fact that Carax shot the tenth draft of the screenplay.

Couching 19th century emotional excess in contemporary terms, Carax explores extreme contrasts and, as usual, the nobility of poverty, society's antipathy towards love and the artist's need to suffer. But, besides a neat shift in atmosphere and a couple of showy set-pieces, this film takes an age to say next to nothing.

Moreover, it's hard to empathise with tormented cult author, Pierre (Depardieu), after he abandons idyllic rural luxury for a berth in a designer squatter's nightmare in order to pursue an affair with his half-sister, Isabelle (Golubeva). A tour de forced.

Melodrama about the suffering of the artist, in this case, the viewer.