Sunday Matinee: After Love [Film]


“From the director of Our Children, comes the stark story of Boris (Cédric Kahn) and Marie (Bérénice Bejo), a couple who have decided to separate after 15 years together. They have two girls that they adore. However, cash-strapped Boris is still living in the family home. When all is said and done, neither of the two is willing to give up.Now this apartment is a war zone and their situation a nightmare. Joachim Lafosse captures with great magnitude, the painfully intimate, harrowingly fascinating drama about the emotional and financial complexities of a separation and the complexity of the end of a long love story.” – Rotten Tomatoes


I feel the need to kick this thing off by stating first and foremost, this is the best film I have watched this year. It is just about everything I am looking for a in a film, with every bit of ground covered to make it an absolutely beautiful cinematic experience. It is a story that idealistacly  simple, yet emotionally complex. It is a tale as old as time, but with a bit of a twist. It is the battle between realistic possibilities and sometimes irrational power of the ego. It is Freudian at its most dramatic points, but absolutely sweet and loving during its more whimsical periods. It has just about everything you will need if you are a fan of cinema that goes truly deep.

One of the greatest elements of After Love is definitely the level of depth that director Jorchim Lafosse and cinematographer Jean-Francois-Hengens go to throw together a visual representation of just how damned awkward this situation could be! Imagine yourself in this scenarios, and then try to imagine how you would attempt to physically interact with the children you adore, and the person you are currently falling out of love with. I can say with reasonable certainty, the quick pace cuts and clever pans of the camera in a film like this would be closely comparable to the human eye in this dire situation.

And lest we not forget, the cast of After Love is absolutely phenomenal. I have a rule that I live by when watching a film: If I can visualize somebody else taking on the exact same role of the film, then the actor was not right for the role. They have to OWN it. And I am here to say, that the film’s top 3 billed characters definitely OWNED their roles, and I would struggle to envision anybody else taking on these roles. Cédric Kahn plays the role of the vulnerable powerhouse of a man absolutely perfect, while Bérénice Bejo will bring you in and out of realistic conceptualization as you watch her struggle with her feelings towards a man who she may despise, but has to remain strong and save face for the sake of her children, and all the while confusing herself even more by possibly re-establishing a connection with said man that she despises. The complexity of her character is very deep, and she pulls it off poignantly! And then there is Marthe Kelly who, let’s be honest, simply did what we all expected her to do. Kelly is an actress who has proven for decades that she is one of the finest actresses of this or any time. She was MADE to take on this role. She is a woman who loves her daughter so much, and wants to be emotionally available. But, she can not stand to see her daughter suffer so much, and sees the answer directly in front of her, but can’t get the child she loves to pull the proverbial trigger on the entire situation.

Overall, After Love is just one of those damn fine movies we just don’t see enough of anymore. It is shot beautifully, and features some of the finest acting you will ever witness. There is no glitz and glamour and not a single car explosion. It is just a truly gritty and heart-felt story that can be both relatable and disturbing. It is a masterpiece of modern cinema, and needs to be taken in by all!


After Love had it’s New York premiere earlier this month, and California viewers will have their chance this coming Friday, September 1st at Loemmle’s Royal Theatre, as well as the 4 Star Cinema in San Francisco on August 25th, with further U.S. dates to follow.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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