A movie that sits in your mind
By Bruce M
, 01 Jul 2004
'Presque rien (Almost Nothing is the UK release title, Come Undone the USA title) is a 2001 French movie directed by Sebastien Lifs_hitz, depicting a stormy romance between two 18-year-olds set in Southern France and what remains of that relationship 18 months later. [The director's name is coming up as an obsence word for Screen Select, so I've changed it to Lifs_hitz for this review.]
The movie is very well done with 'universal' themes, so that one forgets this is movie about two males falling in love with each other, but it does address some issues of coming out both to one self and to family, and the reaction of others to this 'normal' relationship.
Mathieu (Jeremie Elkaim), is spending his summer vacation at the sea before starting to attend college in the fall to become an architect. His mother is deeply depressed because of a miscarriage, and his sister is unbearable(at least to Mathieu). Mathieu, who is not yet 'out' to himself, meets Cedric at the beach (Stephane Rideau, also in Wild Reeds), who is attractive and obviously looking for a boyfriend. After the first shy kisses and embraces, the two boys begin a steamy affair, and Lifs_hitz does not hesitate to show that with realism. A parallel plotline focuses on Mathieu eighteen months later, as he is recovering from the shock of their separation. Having tried to commit suicide, his psychiatrist sends him back to the small seaside town to learn to deal with what happened. While Lifs_hitz does not explicitly say why their relationship failed, the impression is conveyed that their characters are simply too different.
The movie does not really narrate its plot, instead it switches effortlessly between the summer and the winter plotline, to evoke feelings similar to a daydream, recreating the tangle of emotions and memories in Mathieu's head. Well acted, filmed, and very typically 'French'. Really nice to watch, although I was a bit confused at times with the going back and forth between time periods, but that was probably me.
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