Misleading advertising and urgent emotions in All our Desires
by Vittoria Scarpa
After Welcome [+see also:
interview: Philippe Lioret
film profile] (selected at the Berlin Film Festival 2009), Philippe Lioret returns to cinema with another story of exposure and social engagement. If in that film he confronted the theme of illegal immigration, Toutes nos envies [+see also:
film profile], presented at the Venice Days of the 68th Venice Film Festival, focuses on the crushing workings of lending institutions and on misleading advertising. Once more, the French director has chosen Vincent Lindon to play the main character, Stéphane, a seasoned and disillusioned magistrate, whose young and passionate colleague Claire (Marie Gillain) involves him in a battle to save a woman from the trappings of easy money and huge interest rates.
In the background is Claire’s illness. She is suffering from cancer and only has a few weeks left to live, giving her the urgency to live emotions to the full and the desire to leave something significant behind. A special complicity is born between her and Stéphane – a hard man with a heart of gold – one that is noble, rebel, perhaps love, but impossible, and therefore not expressed. Lioret and Lindon have a rapport that works: "I like Vincent’s charisma, he is instinctive and friendly. We will work together again", the director said of the one who could officially become his preferred actor, and who is absent in Venice due to an engagement on another set.
Meanwhile Gillain, who was moved as she received a very long applause from the Festival’s audience, proves herself as an actress in the balance between determination and fragility, commitment and illness. "I spoke to doctors and nurses in order to prepare for this film", she said. "They explained that generally when women know that they do not have much time left to live, they focus on family, men, on what will come after, the will. Claire is an exception: she wants to leave behind something that is important to others".
The film, loosely based on the novel "D'autres vies que la mienne" by Emmanuel Carrère, has a realistic style: "On set my concern is that there is no hint of artifice, that dialogues, camera movements, scenery and acting be as natural as possible", Lioret explains. And it is with this intention that he also conceived the character of Christophe (Yannick Renier), Claire’s husband, perhaps a little too weak compared to the "macho" Lindon: "Christophe cooks, does the shopping, looks after the children. Is that not perhaps really what men do today?".
(Translated from Italian)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.