Les Destinées sentimentales

Screening on Film
Directed by Olivier Assayas.
With Emanuelle Béart, Charles Berling, Isabelle Huppert.
France, 2000, 35mm, color, 180 min.
French with English subtitles.

Assayas' unexpected foray into the period film adapts Jacques Chardonne's epic novel of the same name about the rise and fall of a French family and its Limoges porcelain business. Against the backdrop of the first decades of the twentieth century, Jean Barnery (Berling) struggles through two marriages, the Great War and the coming mass-production that threatens to render his family's factory obsolete. Assayas skillfully weds this narrative, elliptically presented, to wide-screen cinema-tography that embraces both his usual cool, muted palette and the sunnier hues of central France and Switzerland.

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Driven: The Films of Olivier Assayas