A 15-year-old boy unearths a shocking family secret.
In 1950s France, Jewish teenager François discovers the tragic secret behind his parents’ relationship, and that the phantom brother he created to make up for his own athletic failings is a little too close to the truth. The flash forward to an adult François’ (Amalric) bookend of the story adds little more than a modest frame of reference to the film’s real interest - that of the relationships and guilt between the adults back in the 1940s. Despite powerful performances from Cécile De France as François’ mother and Ludivine Sagnier as one of the unfortunate tragedies from the past, this adaptation is so rigidly uncinematic, you might as well stick to reading Philippe Grimbert’s novel.
Despite strong performances, this is a rigidly uncinematic effort.