Here in America it’s always been fashionable to make fun of the French and their zeal for the finer things in life, but everyone knows we secretly envy them. Who wouldn’t want to be a young sexy Parisian, smoking cigarettes, reading Baudelaire and picking up beautiful strangers in picturesque bistros?
It sounds romantic, but it isn’t all champagne and pomme frites for our friends across the ocean. Louis (Louis Garrel), the protagonist of Philippe Garrel’s Jealousy, wants to follow his heart and in so doing starts his own feedback loop of pain and betrayal. He has been living with Clothilde (Rebecca Convenant) and their young daughter (Olga Milshtien), but he’s fallen in love with actress Claudia (Anna Mouglais). One night he leaves Clothilde, in spite of her desperate pleas for him to stay. Clothilde struggles to keep it together for the benefit of her daughter, but she is devastated. Louis and Claudia have a seemingly perfect relationship, but trouble is clearly on the horizon: Claudia is jealous of Louis’ friendships with women, and unhappy with his financial insecurity, and pretty soon she starts looking around for something better.
This romantic drama is shot in black-and-white, which is just what you’d hope from a movie about Parisian lovers. Anna Mouglais stands out with an ethereal beauty and a whisky-and-cigarettes voice, and Olga Milshtien is memorable as the young girl caught in the middle of the grown-ups’ muddled lives. –Michael Popham
Jealousy (La Jealousie) screens Monday and Tuesday, December 22 and 23 at 7:00 and 8:45 at the Trylon. You can purchase advance tickets here.