Filmmaker Diane Kurys examines the bittersweet friendship of two women (Isabelle Huppert and Miou Miou) during post-World War II France in this semi-autobiographical account of her mother and father. The women struggle wit... more »h their dreams and identities, compromising themselves with marriages that are not very satisfying. They long to own their own boutique, but domestic priorities always seem to cut short their aspirations and their friendship. They are only happy when they are together. However, the husbands struggle with their postwar identities as well, and compromise turns them into angry men. The children, meanwhile, are the quiet victims in all of this. It's a predictable yet moving film with much to offer. --Bill Desowitz« less
"Michel (Guy Marchand) falls in love with Jewish refuge Lena (Isabelle Huppert) at first sight and offers marriage as a way she can avoid being sent to a German concentration camp. She accepts, and although she doesn't love him, they have two children and are still married when we pick up the action again in Lyons in 1952 when Lena is 29-years-old. There she meets the sophisticated and well-to-do artist Madeleine (Miou-Miou) who awakens her to the drabness of her existence as a housewife with a loutish husband who now runs a gas station. The attraction between Lena and Madeleine is very strong, and very threatening to the men, especially to Michel.Huppert's poignant and bittersweet portrayal reminds me of her delicate work in Madame Bovary (1991). There is the same listlessness expressed along with a vague desire for something better out of life, and the anticipation of the sadness that we know will come of such desire. Miou-Miou is sharp and cynical with perhaps a streak of the manic-depressive about her. The love they spontaneously feel for one another is real and beautiful and makes us want it to be fulfilled. But Lena holds herself back because of her family, and then it is the men and propriety that get in the way.Of course this is very French and Lena and Madeleine hold hands and comfort one another while telling each other their innermost secrets including the infidelities of their spouses, etc. (The men have no such communication.) Director Diane Kurys exercises more restraint in showing the physical nature of their mutual attraction than would be displayed today. Lena says to Madeleine at one point, "I want to kiss you," but we do not see them kissing. The most explicit scene sexually is the startling, but delicately expressed, meeting with the soldiers on the train where we discover the full extent of Lena's frustration.This is not quite a great movie. The pace is a little slow in spots and sometimes the focus is not as sharp as it could be. But it is an extraordinarily honest movie, and I'll take that over sharp technique any day. Huppert is not only at her best here, but her exquisite and subtle beauty is shown to great advantage. Miou-Miou is also very pretty of course--this is the first time I've seen her--so I would say her strength of character is perhaps her strongest suit. This is a human tragedy on a small, intimate scale, one that we can't help but feel could have been averted had those involved understood one another better, had they been a little wiser. We've all been there before and so we can share the sadness and the sense of loss."
A Beautiful Love Story
Dennis Littrell | 02/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an absolutely beautiful love story. If you are looking for explicit sex or sexuality however, you won't find it here. Instead this story is one that stays true to its contextual setting (World War II) and requires use of the imagination and appreciation for the restraint necessary for the survival of the women's deepening relationship.
"Entre Nous" actually develops the characters' backgrounds and personalities much more than contemporary lesbian film, resulting in an appreciation for their growing love and commitment to each other. It moves us slowly and deliciously into the growing attraction between the two women played by Isabelle Huppert and Miou-Miou, while not ignoring the barriers to consumation that exist between them (husbands, children, geography). Anyone who has fallen in love will remember the electricity inherent in courtship's beginnings: meeting the other's eyes and holding the gaze just long enough; lightly, even accidentally touching or brushing up against the person in a manner that brings on a jolt and that wonderful burning sensation.
"Entre Nous" translates to "Between Us" and suggests a core of privacy that we as viewers cannot enter. This story is told by Director Kurys who is child of Lena (played by Huppert) and we are allowed the be a part of their story and celebrate their love, but we are allowed to go only so far in order that their privacy be protected. It is truly a gorgeous story and will forever remain one of my favorite films of all time."
C. Court | http://adorio.blogspot.com/ | 07/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a beautifully made movie. What fantastic performances from Isabelle Huppert, Miou-Miou and Guy Marchand. No wonder Huppert is considered a diva. She is a great actress. When she laughs, you laugh. When she is sad, you are sad and when she is angry, you are angry. This movie is an example why the French consider movie making an art and a national tradition. This is a poignant and moving story of the strength of friendship and of jealousy. Think of spending Saturday with your girlfriend shopping and coming home to a jealous boyfriend or husband, or being upset with your boyfriend or husband because he spends endless hours discussing politics or NASCAR with his friend. This movie goes deeper but you will understand the meaning of friendship and why friends gather from and give strength to each other and of the irritating emotion of jealousy. This movie is eloquently written and superbly acted. While viewing this movie it would not be unusual to feel ambivalent emotions. The movie constantly elicits joy, seriousness, laughter, and sadness. If you do not speak French the subtitles may be disruptive. You may find yourself ocassionally reviewing the scenes to read the subtitles. But I could not take my eyes away from the screen. It is a pleasure to look at Huppert and Miou-Miou, they are beatiful and so are the clothes! This was the first French movie I have seen in a long time. Since then I have purchased other French movies. Why do French movies always make you think for a long time after you have seen it? The French are masters of this craft."
A Moving and Complex Tale of Emotion ...
Julie Vinogradsky | San Francisco, CA United States | 12/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The beuty of the film lies in its subtle power to transmit the complexity of when family obligations come in the way of self-fullfilment. The film is based on the true story of the the film maker's mother and was a cathartic process for Kurys, who was very close to her father and mourned his seperation from her life. Kurys exhaults her mother's strength and independace in the face of 1950s tradition but does not entirely pardon her for splitting up the family. The narritive is also a feminist consciousness-raising exercise to the extent that it invites the spectator to share in the protagonists' growing awareness of their unsatisfactory lives as married women in the pre-feminist patriarchal world of the 1950s. And though Kurys maintains that her mother's relationship with her female remained platonic, the movie is full of shared looks and pauses that suggest a desire between the two women. the intensity of the their attraction (wether platonic or otherwise) is expressed through the small seemingly meaningless phrases that we utter when we are overrun with emotion. One may postulate that had the relationship between the two women evovled in a different time where the idea of a lesbian affair would not have been so 'unthinkable' their feelings could have bloosemed into a sexual affair."
Entre Nous - The power of feminism
Henriette Cecile Beigh | Dallas, TX United States | 05/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is one of the top 10 in my list. It describes the special nature of female-female friendships and how we women have to rely on each other to survive the slings and arrows of an outrageous patriarchy. However, the movie does, unfairly I think, portray men in a rather negative light. This is just not realistic in the global perspective. On the other hand, if I had a daughter, I would make sure that she owned this DVD. The players in this movie are fantabulous actresses. The plot is believable. The direction and cinematography are a cut above the norm. I would rate this 6 stars if I could."