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2014年12月5日 星期五

On a failli être amies (Almost friends) (幾乎成為朋友)

My first film last night is "almost" a comedy. It's a film directed by Anne Le Ny ( known for  The Intouchables(2011) Le Goût des autres (2000) and Ce que cuex qui restent (200&) and co-scripted by her with Axeille Bachman "On a failli être amies (Almost friends) (幾乎成為朋友)(2014) about two women and a man: Carole Drissi (Emmanuelle Devos) and Marithé Bressy (Karin Viard) and Sam Drissi (Roschdy Zem)

As the film opens, we find a group of middle aged women mostly former employees of a toy factory which had recently been laid off trying to retrain for new jobs at a Government Professional Re-training centre. One of them obviously do not belong, Carole Drissi, the part owner, food taster, customer relations officer and wife of its other proprietor of a one-star Michelin restaurant, Sam Drissi's "Le Moulin Blanc" in the suburbs of Paris. She seems not to know what she wants because she has occupied those roles for the past 20 years, always living in the shadows of her husband, the enthusiastic chef-proprietor of his restaurant having plans to expand and open another branch close to where the Professional Re-training Centre. She feels comfortable with a lady training officer there Marithé Bressy and asks if she could have her deal with case. With a bit of hesitation, Marithé accepts. That the start of a bizarre triangular relationship, initially entirely professional between Marithé and Carole but once Marithé meets Sam when she was invited by her friends to dine at Sam's restaurant and Carole, who was going to Marithé's office behind Sam's back, introduced her to Sam as a friend she meets at the local gymn, it develops by stages into something wholly personal.


Once Marithé learned that Carole has a lover, an equestrian at the country club, she pushes her to go into partnership with him to open a riding school for children, hoping in the process to accelerate Carole's divorce with her husband so that she herself, a lonely divorcee may go after Sam who obviously had some interest in her and for that purposes encourages her to go on a week-end with the man, under pretext of a"professional re-training" by forging Carole's signature for the application and working on the accountant to approve the scheme. It turned out to be a fiasco. And in the process it was found that she had gone against all professional ethics and organizational guidelines was asked to take a break and for re-training but she chose to resign. In the end, Carole really went ahead with the divorce and when she took the relevant documents for Sam's signature at Sam's new restaurant, where Marithé previously arranged for some of her trainees to work as waitresses, Carole found that Carole was now occupying her place as the unofficial "customer relations officer".

A simple story of the desperation of a professional whose own life is as she says, "burnt out" as a trainer" and who appears in fact more "desperate" for a change in the way she has led her life than that of one of her clients. An attempt at comedy was a mess up of her computer which suggested after all the professional tests, questionaires etc , it was suggested that Carole become a "falconnier", a trainer of falcons based upon her psychological aptitudes and personal profile! Again, there's not much of a story nor any great humor. Perhaps a little irony. But it's saved by the acting of the two female protagonists: Emmanuelle Devos who portrays quite well the confusion of the woman in a mid-life crisis who really didn't quite know what to do with her middle class life and  and Karin Viard as a woman dying for a bit of love who went overboard in her professional career.