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AFTER HIM

SYNOPSIS:
After her son Mathieu (Adrien Jolivet) is killed in a car accident, much to the consternation of her daughter Laure (Élodie Bouchez) and ex husband (Guy Marchand) - as well as her friends - Camille (Catherine Deneauve) befriends Franck (Thomas Dumerchez), the driver of the car, who was her son's best friend, and urges him to finish his studies. She becomes fixated on Franck, invading his life and even follows him to Portugal, where Franck and Mathieu had shared a fun filled holiday.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
An intricate, intimate drama, After Him is a risky venture, in which audiences have to either opt in or opt out. It's maternal grief in extremis, as the still vivacious Catherine Deneuve makes Camille both sympathetic - and distant. The first act is painfully well made, with tragedy following comedy in the way only fate can deliver it.

From the funeral, though, things get problematic as the screenplay pushes the emotional envelope and the filmmakers employ cinematic devices to capture the wrought journey of a divorced mother unable to cope with her grief except by plunging into her son's metier. This carries the danger of making Camille look slightly ridiculous, but the upside is it underlines her sense of loss and feeling lost.

Deneuve makes it all credible, and the supporting cast is terrific, especially Thomas Dumerchez as Franck, the best friend whose guilt and confusion are palpable.

Technically the film is excellent, and the haunting mood is well maintained, but it is unlikely to find a mainstream audience. Fans of Deneuve (and there are many) will be delighted to find her in top form.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

CATHERINE DENEUVE INTERVIEW

AFTER HIM (tba)
(France, 2007)

Après lui

CAST: Catherine Deneuve, Thomas Dumerchez, Guy Marchand, Élodie Bouchez, Elli Medeiros, Luis Rego, Adrien Jolivet

PRODUCER: Laurent Lavolè, Isabelle Pragier

DIRECTOR: Gaël Morel

SCRIPT: Gaël Morel, Christoph Honorè

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jena-Max Bernard

EDITOR: Catherine Schwartz

MUSIC: Louis Sclavis

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Zè Branco

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 27, 2008






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