Projections - Movie Reviews

Alice and Martin Alice and Martin

French Director Andre Techine uses Alice and Martin as a psychological study of two emotionally damaged souls.

Living with a hair dressing mom, Jeanine (Carmen Maura), a young Martin (Jeremy Kreikenmeyer) is asked to meet his real father, Victor (Pierre Maguelon).  The boy has a bad feeling about Victor and when he does stay with his father, the old man becomes harsh.

Techine smoothly cuts to the lad leaving the same abode in youth and a decade later as an adult (Alexis Loret).  Nomadically occupying the bucolic lands and unable to bring himself to meet a watery grave, he winds up at the Parisian home of his gay, half brother, an aspiring performer, Benjamin (Mathieu Amalric).

Benjamin dwells in a squalid attic with an equally struggling wedding violinist, Alice (Juliette Binoche).  Eventually the relationship between Alice and Martin goes to a point where Martin has to quell his harmful nature.

From one of her early collaborations with Techine in 1984, Rendezvous, Binoche acts as a fulcrum with her rare poignancy amid an instability and willfulness which opens up her lover's life, while he is in a hospital mental ward.

An expansiveness of vistas encompass the varying mood shifts of Alice and Martin with desolate beaches and more congested Grenada and Paris.  With taut editing that touches upon a complex love story propelled by graceful, absorbing Binoche, Alice and Martin brings insight into a disturbed relationship.

Alice and Martin

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