Sunday, September 15, 2013

L'Homme qui voulait vivre sa vie

2010, France, directed by Eric Lartigau

Disappointing, frankly. Romain Duris is capable of carrying both light and dark material, but he never really convinces in the opening segment of this film, cast as a successful lawyer and playful father (Duris is a father offscreen, but seemed very awkward around his onscreen children, which undermines the moment late on when they assume great significance). Duris is rather better matched with the character after a profound transformation -- the methodical plotting of a change of identity is the film's strongest suit -- but it's hard not to recall what came before, while the ending is both unconvincingly melodramatic and rather pat. It may well have been lifted more or less directly from Douglas Kennedy's source novel The Big Picture, which I've not read, but onscreen it's rushed and weak.

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