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Cravate Club

The partnership of two architects develops small cracks that reveal structural flaws in "Cravate Club."

Cast:
With: Charles Berling, Edouard Baer, Albane Urbin.

The partnership of two architects develops small cracks that reveal structural flaws in “Cravate Club.” Nicely played bigscreen adaptation of recent Moliere-winning play thoughtfully and fluidly expands into highly visual territory. However, the increasingly dark dissection of a dissolving friendship remains theatrical in its two-handed dialogue and stagy conclusion. Still, fests will find this neckwear a nice fit.

Pic opens as husband and father Bernard (Charles Berling), whose firm has just landed a big contract, learns his biz partner and closest pal, Adrien (Edouard Baer), will not be attending his 40th birthday party that night. Adrien is 37 and a footloose bachelor, and the date clashes with his monthly club dinner: Miss a single get-together of that and you’re banished from membership. Bernard is doubly wounded to learn Adrien belongs to a secret club and that he’s never proposed Bernard as a candidate. From this nagging oversight evolves a ballet of jealousy, rivalry and obsession which both men perpetuate as the delicate balance of their longstanding friendship veers into a slash-and-burn duel, with cruel results. Nicolas Errera’s mostly syncopated score is excellent, as are thesps, reprising their stage roles.

Cravate Club

France

Production: A Rezo Films release of an Aliceleo presentation of an Aliceleo/France 2 Cinema production, with participation of Gimages 5, Cofimage 13 and Canal Plus. (International sales: President Films, Paris.) Produced by Patrick Godeau. Executive producer, Francoise Galfre. Directed by Frederic Jardin. Screenplay, Jardin, Jerome Dassier, from the stage play by Fabrice Roger-Lacan.

Crew: Camera (color), Laurent Machuel; editor, Marco Cave; music, Nicolas Errera; art director, Francoise Emmanuelli; costume designer, Anne Schotte. Reviewed at UGC Danton, Paris, July 14, 2002. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Charles Berling, Edouard Baer, Albane Urbin.

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