Synopsis by Mark Deming
A mother and daughter follow similar paths with different results in this drama with music from writer and director Christophe Honoré. In 1964, Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier) is a restless young woman working at a shoe store who, after helping herself to a new pair of high heels, is mistaken for a streetwalker by a man passing by. Madeleine impulsively decides to go along with the stranger's assumptions, and soon discovers prostitution can be a profitable part-time job. One of her regular customers is a handsome doctor named Jaromil (Rasha Bukvic), and when he asks for her hand in marriage, she accepts. They settle in his native Czechoslovakia and have a daughter, Vera, though political upheaval leads Madeleine back to Paris and a new husband. Years later, a grown-up Vera (Chiara Mastroianni) looks back on the story of her mother and father (played in their later years by Catherine Deneuve and Milos Forman) with a viewpoint colored by both romanticism and regret. While Madeleine's life as a streetwalker brought her love and adventure and she now divides her attentions between two men, Vera has grown up in an era where AIDS has made such sexual openness something like Russian Roulette, and she's unable to commit to a relationship, tossing aside her on-and-off boyfriend Clement (Louis Garrel) in favor of obsessing over Henderson (Paul Schneider), a musician who prefers the company of men. Les Bien-aimés (aka Beloved) was an official selection at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
daughter, generation, love, marriage, mother, relationship