The Mother and the Whore ★★★★

220 minutes trapped with some of the worst people you could ever possibly have to interact with (and Alexandre's scarves perhaps make him the worst dressed character in film history), but somehow it mostly works. Hard to say if Eusatche really wants to give these people their comeuppance or not, but he certainly does make you realize how hollow all their thoughts and ideas and talk really are. What he certainly doesn't do is sentimentalize the environment they live in: Alexandre and Marie's flat is a pigsty to say the least, and Veronika's room is as sterile as her profession. These people live aimless lives going nowhere, filling up their post-68 dreams with cheap talk and cheaper sex. "Realism" appears to be a goal here in a lot of ways, which certainly comes across in the use of street noise, the blown up 16-to-35mm, and of course the frank sexual dialogue, which is way more interesting than the actual sex. Not sure all this catharsis about sex vs. love "I'm so empty" actually works, because 1) this would suggest I care about what happens to these people and 2) time to get a better grip on reality. Cinephile references more than a bit forced for a character we never see once go to the movies. Also if you added jokes, I bet you could turn this into a great Woody Allen movie.

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