A question of skin
Suzanne Allen | 07/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is for anyone who is sensitive to smell, touch, language, or who wants to be. Typically French in all the right ways, this comedic melodrama is so much more than plot. In fact, it's about sensitivities. It's about intersections, collisions of time and place and perceptions, observations. It's about mothers and daughters and grandmothers, and it's about all the other mothers that come into our lives, sometimes only to leave again. And of course, it's about love. What French film isn't?
Too many mattresses, tables and chairs; music and sleep mingled with the lack of them both; a smoking oven; empty and almost empty refrigerators; pregnancies feared and longed for; an old diary, a writer's notebook, eavesdropping; flowers in vases and so many repeated phrases. Whimsical and terribly serious, this film unreels like a classic. I watch it again and again and always take something new away from it.
This is where I fell in love with Sylvie Testud... as Charlotte. Charlotte chain smokes and takes a cerebral and celibate approach to her work writing erotic stories. Charlotte listens to her mother. She makes no apologies for her domestic inadequacies, even as her house fills with strangers over and over again. She turns each interaction into something larger, more relevant to the story she seeks as life's chaos adds its spice... like thyme on roasted chicken."