Comment J'ai Tue Mon Pere review

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The life of Jean-Luc (Charles Berling), a successful Versailles gerontologist with a beautiful young wife Isa (Natasha Régnier), is disrupted by arrival of his septuagenarian father Maurice (Michel Bouquet). The interloper seems to have no regrets about deserting his family years earlier and, to Jean-Luc's dismay, soon develops a warm rapport with Isa...

Ambiguity pervades this elegantly photographed and impressively acted film: it's unclear whether we're watching a flashback to actual events, or viewing Jean-Luc's anxiety-filled reverie, with Bouquet's Maurice retaining a spectral, mysterious presence. Lines are further blurred as director Anne Fontaine's refusal to proffer simplistic psychological explanations, dodges tidy exposition or illustratory speeches.

Comment J'ai Tué Mon Père is a touch too talky in places, missing the verve and edge that usually accompanies crossover hits from foreign climes, but it's a piquant Oedipal drama all the same.

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