Comedie De L'innocence review

After tackling Proust in Time Regained, maverick Chilean director Raoul Ruiz once again looks to literature for inspiration, his latest effort being an adaptation of Massimo Bontempelli’s novel The Son With Two Mothers.

On his ninth birthday, Camille (Nils Hugon) asks his mum (Isabelle Huppert) to accompany him back to his ‘real’ home. He then takes her to a house on the other side of Paris where he’s joyously welcomed by Isabella (Jeanne Balibar), his ‘other mother’. Even stranger, she calls him Paul, the name of her recently drowned son.

Somewhere between family drama, psychological thriller and ghost story, this offbeat effort is as challenging as it is unsettling. It’s also highly complex, both in Ruiz’s graceful use of his roving camera and in the tightly constructed script, which creates a conundrum to which there is no simple answer. A film you won’t get out of your head for weeks.

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