Unemployed actor Louis (Louis Garrel, "Regular Lovers," Love Songs") breaks his wife Clothilde's (Rebecca Convenant, "Regular Lovers") heart when he moves in with fellow actress Claudia (Anna Mouglalis, "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky"), who also wins over Louis's little girl Charlotte (Olga Milshtein). But when Claudia begins to tire of Louis's threadbare existence, he's surprised to find himself on the other end of "Jealousy."
Cowriter (with Marc Cholodenko, "Regular Lovers")/director Philippe Garrel ("Regular Lovers") uses his uber-brooder son Louis as the pivot for a typically French carousel of morphing romantic relationships. Shot in a beautiful black and white (cinematography by Willy Kurant, "Masculin Feminin") that cannot help but evoke the French New Wave, Garrel's film delves into the shifting emotional planes of love when confronted with the realities of day to day living.
Louis is a selfish sort whose desire to follow his dreams trumps other considerations. Some might call him untethered, an artist who doesn't pay much mind to ordinary necessities or other people's needs. It's clear he adores little Charlotte, but when he tells Clothilde that their love is 'definitive,' we can sense he's acting and when he's drawn to Claudia Clothilde, who gave up her own dreams to support their family, is left caring for a child in a neat but tiny apartment.
Garrel uses a mosaic approach to his scenes, applying thematic titles ('I Looked After Angels,' 'Sparks in a Powder Keg'). Louis and Claudia drift about Parisian streets, stopping to kiss. Charlotte is thrilled to be gifted with her dad's new lover's hat and wise enough to cloud its origin when questioned by mom. But although Claudia has been accepted by his daughter, she soon begins to learn there's only so much solidity to Louis, and once again the wheels start spinning. Garrel caps his romantic rondelet with words of wisdom from two old men.
Robin gives "Jealousy" a B-.
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