Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Comedy of Innocence|
Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Jeanne Balibar, Charles Berling, Edith Scob, Nils Hugon
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family
On his 9th birthday, a young boy suddenly tells his mother that he wants to go home to his "real" mother. This declaration leads to an eerie and engrossing mystery which blurs the boundaries between psychological thriller... more »
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 05/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to "Comedy of Innocence" (Comédie de l'innocence), DVD edition(Wellspring)...If your looking for something French, something out of the ordinary, and a film well worth discussing after the view, this film is for you. I have to admit, there were moments in this film I found a little hard to follow, and others hard to swallow, but there was never a moment that I wanted to leave my seat, as the story became more compelling with every scene. Don't let the title fool you...it's a psychological drama/mystery that would take the wisdom of King Solomon, the expertise of Dr. Freud, and the patience of, well..a mother...to unravel. Camille is a precocious nine year old, and only child of a well to do family. On his birthday he startles his mother Ariane, by declaring that he is not really Camille, he is a boy named Paul and she is not his mother at all. Ariane is eager to show Camille her love for him, and goes along with him, as he takes her on what seems to be a wild goose chase, but finds them at the apartment of Isabella, a woman who he now calls Mommy and who is thrilled to be reunited with her long lost,deceased son. And so the psychological tug-of-war for the boy begins. Who is this child really? Could he be the reincarnation of Paul? Is Ariane going mad? You won't want to miss a frame of this fascinating story.Although I had never seen it before, I purchased this film, mainly because I am a fan of Isabelle Huppert. She turns in a wonderful performance of the very distraught mother. But I also marvelled at the work of Jeanne Balibar(Isabella), and will now be looking for her films as well. Artfully directed by Raoul Ruiz, with a haunting score, and wonderfully photographed, it's a nice one to add to your foreign film collection.A very nice DVD from Wellspring. It includes English subtitles, that can be turned off, a very enlightning interview with Director Ruiz, has a nice widescreen picture and excellent sound in DD5.1(may also be viewed in stereo).This film is billed as a thriller, akin to "The Sixth Sense", I didn't view it as anything like that, and if that is what you are hoping for, you might consider passing this one by. Merci and enjoy....Laurie"
Spooky and unsettling... or is it??
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 02/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I admit it: I was looking for something more Hollywood, but all the good new releases were checked out on a Friday night, so I had to go for a second-tier rental instead. A European supernatural arthouse thriller seemed like a good option, even if the steady stream of similar films -- "Abre Tus Ojos," "Sixth Sense," "The Others," "The Ring," "The Eye," et al. -- is getting to be a bit much. And why do all these films have to star precocious, knowing little children who intone wisdom that seems beyond their years? In this case, it's a moody little Parisian boy named Camille, who wigs out after his ninth birthday, and tells his mother (played, somewhat flatly, by Isabelle Huppert) that he is in fact another child altogether, a boy named Paul, who as it turns out is a kid on the other side of town who drowned a couple of years ago. For some reason, Mom humors him, and they take a cab ride to the other boy's apartment, which is where the truly unsettling part of this film begins. The dead child's mourning mother appears, and insinuates herself in the other family's life, seducing Camille away from his family -- or so it seems. The middle section of this film slides into unreality and surrealism, as the actions of all involved seem warped and unexplainable. What's going on here? Are these people all dead, and living in some sort of Purgatory of unresolved emotional baggage of their former lives? Or are they all just nuts? The best performance, by far, in this film is by the elastic, elfin, wide-eyed Jeanne Balibar, who plays the other mother, and seems in turns both pixie-like and demonic. I agree, this isn't the greatest film ever, and the ending seems more rushed than deft, but the nauseating uncertainty that builds up as the plot unfolds shows that the filmmakers certainly had something on the ball... It does kind of stand the ghost-kid genre on its head a bit, and may make for an entertaining rental."
Isabelle Huppert is the Best Reason to see this film.
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 01/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though it is one of her lesser films, the best reason to see this film is Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher (Unrated Edition); La Ceremonie). Although her role as a conventional mother in this film is less controversial than her unforgettable role as the sexually-deviant mother in Ma Mere, Huppert nevertheless brings a compelling performance to this psychological mystery. The film reminds me of a Michael Haneke film.
Raúl Ruiz's Comedy of Innocence (2000) tells the intriguing story of a boy, Camille, who on his 9th birthday declares to his mother Ariane (Huppert), "You're not my mommy," sending the film into the French Twilight Zone from there. Camille then demands to be taken to the home of his real mother, Isabella (Jeanne Balibar), and what's even more surprising, Ariane goes along with her son's request. Before the film's dénouement, she discovers that Isabella's own son, Paul, drowned two years earlier, raising questions of reincarnation. Although the film held my attention, Huppert's performance is the best reason to see this film.