Review: ‘With All My Love’

Inspired by her grandparents' story in early 20th-century Algeria, writer-director Amalia Escriva fashions a highly literary tale of tangled family relations among French settlers in "All My Love."

Inspired by her grandparents’ story in early 20th-century Algeria, writer-director Amalia Escriva fashions a highly literary tale of tangled family relations among French settlers in “All My Love.” A strong distaff cast headed by Jeanne Balibar, Dominique Blanc and Dominique Reymond gives some life to an otherwise rather static picture, whose mild theatrical grosses will be garnered largely on home turf.

In 1903, lawyer Jean Corveler (Bruno Todeschini) returns to Algiers to find his young wife, Eugenia (Balibar), dead, leaving a letter saying “With all my love.” Pic moves backward in time to explain the riddle, which revolves round Eugenia’s elder sister, Dolores (Reymond), with whom she has a love-hate relationship, and Dolores’ feisty friend, Adele (Blanc, in shining form). Talky pic is more concerned with drawing emotional and social webs than portraying the realities of settlers’ privileged lives in colonial Algeria, and is mostly set in interiors and gardens that look as if they were shot in France. Jeanne Lapoirie’s careful lensing has a discreet, feminine glow throughout.

With All My Love

France

Production

A Cinevia release of a Les Films d'Ici production, in association with Cinevia, Arte France Cinema, with participation of Canal Plus, Gimages 4, CNC. (International sales: Les Films d'Ici, Paris.) Produced by Serge Lalou. Directed by Amalia Escriva. Screenplay, Escriva, Christophe Pellet.

Crew

Camera (color), Jeanne Lapoirie; editor, Sophie Reiter; art directors, Javier Po, Anna Erhel; costume designer, Anne Autran. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (competing), Aug. 5, 2001. Original title: Avec tout mon amour. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Jeanne Balibar, Bruno Todeschini, Dominique Blanc, Dominique Reymond, Montserrat Salvador, Jordi Dauder, Lucia Sanchez.
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