EmptyLocarno International Film Festival
LOCARNO, Switzerland -- In one sense it's not a long day that errant husband Serge spends in Jacob Berger's cautionary tale "1 journee," but in another it could last a lifetime.
Having departed his marital bed, he stops at another, and leaving afterward in his car, he hits something on the road, something human. The implications of the man's behavior reverberate not only between the women in his life but also toward his young son. Berger's film takes a sophisticated look at the complications of adultery, and he shows a deft hand with the ironies that invariably accompany it. With well-drawn characters and appealing players, the wry drama could travel well in urban markets.
Serge (Bruno Todeschini) is catnip to women who love "that little animal begging to be saved," as one of them says. Torn between two lovers and distraught by the belief that he has hit someone with his car, he reports to the police, where skeptical Inspector Haddid (Zinedine Soualem) begins an investigation.
Serge's wife Pietra (Natacha Regnier) suspects he is cheating, and his mistress, Mathilde (Noemie Kocher), is ready to end their affair. Meanwhile, Serge and Pietra's precocious son Vlad (Louis Dussol) and Mathilde's daughter Manon (Amelia Jacob) have become friends in school.
Berger, who wrote the screenplay with Kocher, shifts back and forth in time so that events only gradually become clear. Charming and intelligent, young Vlad appears to be the most grown up of the lot of them. The story takes unpredictable paths, and scenes are invested with smart, often droll dialogue, which the cast delivers with flair. Vlad's encounters with his father's mistress are quite provocative as the boy clearly takes after his old man to the delight of the woman.
Attractively filmed in Geneva, the film also boasts a wonderfully varied and evocative score by French composer Cyril Morin, drawing on strings, wind instruments and piano to infuse the proceedings with added wit and poignancy.
Vega Film, Why Not Prods., Avventura Films
Director: Jacob Berger
Screenwriters: Jacob Berger, Noemie Kocher
Producer: Ruth Waldburger
Director of photography: Jean-Marc Fabre
Production designers: Denis Mercier, Roger Martin
Music: Cyril Morin
Co-producer: Josef Steinberger
Costume designers: Nathalie Raoul, Francoise Nicolet
Editor: Catherine Quesemand
Serge: Bruno Todeschini
Pietra: Natacha Regnier
Mathilde: Noemie Kocher
Inspector Haddid: Zinedine Soualem
Vlad: Louis Dussol
Manon: Amelia Jacob
Japanese Man: Hiro Uchiyama
Running time -- 95 minutes
No MPAA rating