Lisa (2001)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Showbiz Drama, War Drama  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

A young man's interest in film history leads to a revelation about his own past in this drama. Sam (Benoit Magimel) is a student and film fan who is fascinated by Sylvain Marceau (Sagamore Stevenin), an actor who had a brief career in the 1930s but seems to have vanished while working on "Princess Marushka," a historical epic that was never completed. Sam decides to make a documentary about Marceau's life and disappearance, and attempts to arrange an interview with Lisa Morain (Jeanne Moreau), a veteran actress who worked with Marceau on "Princess Marushka." Despite her initial reluctance, Sam is able to persuade Lisa to discuss her memories of Marceau, which turn out to be deeper and more personal than he imagined: when she was 22, Lisa met the young Sylvain when both were patients at a tuberculosis sanitarium in the French Alps. Lisa and Sylvain became quite close, and she learned that Sylvain was a Jew, which in Europe in the 1930s was hardly the ticket to a long and uneventful life. As Sam learns more about the story of Lisa and Sylvain, he finds himself increasingly curious about his own past, a subject his parents (Denise Chalem and Michel Jonasz) are not inclined to discuss. Lisa also features Marion Cotillard as the youthful Lisa.