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French actress Camille (Jeanne Balibar) has returned to Paris after three years to appear in an Italian play written and directed by her lover Ugo (Sergio Castellitto). Old passion is reignited when Camille contacts her ex-boyfriend Pierre (Jacques Bonaffe), who is now married to ballet teacher Sonia (Marianne Basler). While Ugo is searching for a lost manuscript by 18th century Italian playwright Goldoni he meets sexy student Do (Helene De Fougerroles) who offers to help him. Do's possessive half-brother Arthur (Bruno Todeschini) is a disreputable character seeking an affair with Sonia. 

Review by Richard Kuipers:
At 154 minutes Va Savior clocks in as one of Jacques Rivette's shorter films. The last of his features to receive a commercial release here, La Belle Noiseuse (1991), ran 239 minutes and the Gallic veteran likes to keep his audience for three hours as a rule. At 74, Rivette may be one the elder statesman of cinema but, like Robert Altman, he has the energy, skill and a love of the form that puts most filmmakers half his age to shame. 

Filmed in a Paris so intimate it seems like a cosy little village in the countryside, Va Savior gives us half a dozen wonderful characters whose coupling, uncoupling and potential coupling provides a delightful and hugely entertaining jaunt around the topics of love, life and art. 

The play Camille and Ugo are appearing in is Pirandello's As You Desire Me - an apt description of what happens over the course of two and a half witty, intelligent and supremely performed hours. 

Va Savior has the touch of a master who may not have anything left to prove but still wants to impress. He does that with the help of a superb ensemble cast and a sense of humour that's never far from the surface even when the emitional temperature hots up. 

The title translates as Who Knows? Indeed. Rivette and his players know that exploring the unanswerable is where the fun and riches lie. Anyone who treasures precisely tuned direction and meaningful dialogue will agree. 

Published February 12, 2004

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CAST: Jeanne Balibar, Sergio Castellitto, Marianne Basler, Jacques Bonnaffé, Hélène de Fougerolles

DIRECTOR: Jacques Rivette

SCRIPT: Jacques Rivette, Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent, Luigi Pirandello (play)

RUNNING TIME: 54 minutes

PRESENTATION: widescreen 16:9


DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: February 18, 2004

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