Synopsis by Mark Deming
When the grown-up children of a missing parent are reunited with their father, they discover it raises more questions than it answers in a well-crafted mood piece from writer/director Anne Fontaine. Jean-Luc (Charles Berling) is a well-to-do physician whose practice is devoted to older patients, many of whom are forced to confront their fears about death. While Jean-Luc is used to dealing with such issues, they come home for him one day when he learns that his father has died. The news prompts Jean-Luc to look back at his younger days, and his difficult relationship with his dad, Maurice (Michel Bouquet), who ran out on his family when Jean-Luc was a boy and returned after he'd grown to adulthood with few explanations about where he'd gone (he became a volunteer physician in the Third World) and why he left his wife and children behind. Growing up in an air of uncertainty has had an impact on Jean-Luc's relationship with his wife Isa (Natacha Regnier); neither is certain of how to reach out to one another, and Jean-Luc sometimes seeks comfort in the arms of Myriem (Amira Casar), an assistant in his office. Maurice's absence also took its toll on Jean-Luc's brother, Patrick (Stephane Guillon), who deals with his anxieties by pursuing a career as a comic, while earning his keep as Jean-Luc's driver.
doctor, parent/child-relationship, estrangement, father, son, aging, brother, chauffeur, comics [stand-up]