Friday, June 12, 2015

Film on Friday #37 - If You Don't, I Will

Today's Film on Friday entry is If You Don't, I Will from French director Sophie Fillières. As with all of Film Movement's films, it was an official selection at many festivals.

Pomme (Emmanuelle Devos) and Pierre (Mathieu Amalric) have been married for many years. That initial flush and fire of new love has slowly faded away. On a hike, Pomme asks " What have we become?" Pierre's reply? " Your parents."

Fillières takes us into this couple's life - and although it seems like they both still want to 'fix' things, it is quite obvious that this is more on Pomme's part than on Pierre's. Until one last hike, where Pomme decides she is going to stay in the forest - without Pierre. "I'll totally lose weight - among other things."

Fillières uses visual metaphors to great effect - the too heavy backpack is a great example. Pierre is initially carrying it - and complaining. When Pomme takes over and takes off, she begins emptying the contents, mirroring the self exploration of her life and marriage while in the forest. Pierre attempts to do the same back in civilization.

Silence and still shots are used effectively to underscore the contemplation, the loneliness, the hurt and the separation. The forest setting is absolutely beautiful.

Both actors use expressions and body language to great effect - Devos's are more subtle - she says much with a simple smile and a knowing eye. Amalric's are more overt - and more hurtful. I was firmly in Pomme's corner for the entire film. But at the end of the film, I rethought my stance - it does take two. I'm not going to reveal what does happen -  but I thought the ending was perfect. The last set of dialogue between the two is quite telling - and full of truth. The chemistry between these two actors was absolutely perfect and easy to believe.

If You Don't, I Will is another great addition to the Film Movement collection - and mine.

As always, there is a short bonus film included. A 17 yr old girl finds out she's pregnant minutes before she has to take her driving test - with her grandmother in tow. A good pairing - this is another look at love.


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