In Unforgivable, Francis (Andre Dussollier) awakens to the tensions in his marriage to Judith (Carole Bouquet, far left) when his daughter, Alice (Melanie Thierry, far right), and granddaughter come for a summer visit.
Credit Strand Releasing
Judith and Francis marry quickly after first meeting — but then director Andre Techine skips straight to the marital strife that arises a year and a half later.
At first glance, the latest film from French director Andre Techine boasts all the titillating trappings of a neo-noir thriller: a missing girl, a private investigator, a seedy urban-European underbelly, a rich man suspicious of his beautiful younger wife. Yet Unforgivable, adapted from Philippe Dijian's best-selling novel, only masquerades as a story about crime. Instead, the film observes its subjects in the small moments of their daily lives, meditatively exploring the casual malice with which family and lovers fracture and finally break their closest relationships.
The distance between the movie sold by a trailer and the one you end up seeing is often as wide as that between the appetizing burger in the fast-food ad and the heat-lamped puck of sadness delivered to your tray. But in the case of Steven Soderbergh's latest, that expectation mismatch works in reverse: The advertising might make this look like a flimsy excuse to put a bunch of hunky guys onscreen in equally flimsy thongs, but Magic Mike turns out to be more complicated than its slick, vapid rom-com trailers would indicate.
From two who brought us those sensitive little human dramas, Star Trek and Transformers, comes a sensitive, decent, well-crafted little drama about frailty and forgiveness.
No, really: In his first outing as a director, writer-producer Alex Kurtzman has filled in a heavily worn premise with wit, heart and — along with Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert — a lively way with ordinary speech.