Synopsis by Mark Deming
Raul Ruiz directed this typically eccentric look at the nature of crime, the human mind, and life in the modern world. Solange (Catherine Deneuve) is a defense attorney with a reputation for taking on cases that can't be won -- and proving it by losing them. Her latest lost cause is Rene (Melvil Poupaud), a young man on trial for murdering his Aunt Jeanne (also played by Deneuve), a cruel psychiatrist who raised him as a child and was convinced from infancy that he was destined for a life of crime. While Rene would seemingly need a good lawyer in his situation, he prefers instead to play games with Solange's mind and finds unlikely allies in a strange society of French and Belgian psychologists, headed by Georges (Michel Piccoli), who seems crazier than anyone he's treating. Solange, however, finds herself falling in love with Rene, which only makes a difficult situation more unpleasant for everyone. Through a series of layered flashbacks, we're shown Rene's crime several times from a number of perspectives, which ultimately makes his actions seem more vague with each repetition.
defense-attorney, murder, aunt, mind-games, killing, revenge
High Artistic Quality