Film

Film

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In this update of Chekhov’s The Seagull, a châteauful of French bores suffers from a strand of cinemania whose primary symptom is babbling fatuous pronouncements. Lili (Ludivine Sagnier) acts as muse for pillow-lipped aspiring DV auteur Julien (Robinson Stévenin). When Julien’s actress mother, Mado (Nicole Garcia), derides his short film as a “provincial Bergman rip-off,” the delicate boy heads for a crack-up; opportunistic Lili, with visions of Césars in her eyes, runs off with Mado’s wealthy helmer boyfriend, Brice (Bernard Giraudeau). Five years later, Lili has won the Prix Romy Schneider, and Julien, after a long rest cure, is set to direct his first feature, “about a dysfunctional family and their mutual disillusionment.” Cue the provincial Truffaut rip-off: Lili’s film within a film imagines cinema as group therapy, the “artistic” process a way to salve hurt feelings. True to Chekhov’s dictum, a gun does fire near the end—by which point eye-rolling audience members may be up in arms too.

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