Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Roman de Gare

Roman de Gare
Dominique Pinon, Fanny Ardant and Audrey Dana

Rated: R for brief language and sexual references
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 16, 2008 Released by: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Claude Lelouch's Roman de Gare (in French with English subtitles) really blurs the line between reality and fiction.

The acclaimed director has fabricated something that Hitchcock would nod favorably toward and touches lucidly on elements captured this decade in films like Swimming Pool.

Characters may not be as perceived on the screen as the three primary ones come together in the still of the night.

The leading man is the short, squinty Dominique Pinon (Alien: Resurrection) whose Pierre has a lothario streak in him. At a highway rest stop, the teacher having just separated from his family is doing card tricks. He may be a magician or maybe a ghostwriter for a renowned novelist Judith (Fanny Ardant). Yet, he could be of the Mr. Brooks ilk.

Judith could also share this dastardly profession. Audrey Dana's hairdresser Huguette is abandoned by her fiancee during the same nocturnal period, so it's Pierre to her rescue at the rest area. It's interesting that her clients could have ranged from call-girls to Princess Diana.

This cinematic divertissement weaves much finesse into the disparate stories even as one draws little nuance from characters or plot. However, Lelouch's mysterious, if invisible touch understands the "train station novel" that is best savored during viewing. And, for a rubbery-faced Pinon who makes for a striking, if shifty protagonist.

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