Friday, 9 January 2015

Before the Winter Chill.

Writer Phillippe Claudel’s latest outing as a film director is an enjoyable well made French drama. Claudel was responsible for the BAFFTA winning I’ve Loved You So Much (2008), which featured the talents of actress Kristin Scott Thomas, as does Before the Winter Chill (2013).  But this newest outing is nowhere near as convincing a film, with its rather strange twist towards the end!
The minimalist existence of French middle class can be lonely for a brain surgeon's wife....
....occasionally spending time  with someone who does appreciate her....
The title of the movie refers to a man being on the threshold of old age and therefore easily up for a little flattery from a mysterious good looking young woman. The man in question is Paul (Daniel Auteuil) a brain surgeon, who leads a busy life married to Lucie (Scott Thomas), lives in a beautiful house where Lucie spends most of her day tending a very large and well laid out garden and looking after her grandchildren. Into Paul's middle class life comes a young waitress Lou (Leila Bekhti) and turns his routine existence upside down when the brain surgeon finds himself unable to resist her charms.
....while husband Paul's infatuation with a beautiful young women could lead to circumstances beyond his control?

Now separated from her French husband it has been alleged that Kristin Scott Thomas will no longer be making films in France. Although I would rate her acting skills very highly, the parts she has been offered lately do not extend her as an actress and Before the Winter Chill is a case in point. We all know what she is capable of. Sample such delights as her investigative journalist in Sarah’s Key (2011), the power hungry Christine in 2010’s Love Crime and how could anyone passably forget the sexy evil incestuous mother from hell in the very underrated Only God Forgives (2012). Lets hope if she moves back to the UK she is not relegated to dreadful boring films like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011) and is offered parts that can extend her.

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