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37°2 le Matin

Director Jean-Jacques Beineix has adapted a novel by Philippe Djian, considered an enfant terrible of the new literary generation. It's another feverish tale of amour fou.

Director Jean-Jacques Beineix has adapted a novel by Philippe Djian, considered an enfant terrible of the new literary generation. It’s another feverish tale of amour fou.

Film begins with the animal attraction between Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a young man living off odd jobs in a coastal bungalow colony, and Betty (Beatrice Dalle), a waitress. The carnal links soon deepen into stronger bonds, particularly for Betty, who comes across a stashed-away manuscript that reveals Zorg’s long-suppressed literary ambitions.

They move into a Paris suburban house shared by a girl friend of Betty’s (Consuelo de Haviland) and her mate (Gerard Darmon). Betty sends off Zorg’s manuscript to numerous publishers, but what little response there is is negative. They try to settle down, but Betty’s failed pregnancy and her unrealized hopes of stability push her into madness.

Though Beineix hasn’t abandoned his esthetic preoccupations (notable here in the preponderant use of primary colours in clothing and decors), he has concentrated on his two actors, who are extraordinarily genuine. Dalle, a model, makes a moving debut as the desperate baby-doll who fails to mold reality to her own conceptions of happiness. Anglade is more introvertedly affecting as the lucidly casual, but devoted Zorg.

37°2 le Matin

France

  • Production: Gaumont/Constellation/Cargo. Director Jean-Jacques Beineix; Producer Claude Ossard (exec.); Screenplay Jean-Jacques Beineix; Camera Jean-Francois Robin; Editor Monique Prim; Music Gabriel Yared; Art Director Carlos Conti
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 120 MIN.
  • With: Jean-Hugues Anglade Beatrice Dalle Gerard Darmon Consuelo de Haviland Clementine Celarie Vincent Lindon
  • Music By: