×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice Film Review: ‘Jealousy’

Philippe Garrel's slight but watchable comedy-drama has an unexpected emotional warmth.

With:

Louis Garrel, Anna Mouglalis, Rebecca Convenant, Olga Milshtein, Esther Garrel, Manon Kneuse, Julien Lucas.

Although Philippe Garrel’s “Jealousy” doesn’t stretch the Gallic helmer’s thematic canvas much beyond his usual preoccupations — lovesick Parisians, la vie boheme and his lushly tousle-headed son, actor Louis Garrel — there are a few new tints on the palette that brighten this slight but watchable black-and-white pic. More tightly scripted than Garrel’s usual rambles, the comedy-drama also has an unexpected emotional warmth, thanks partly to a cute if slightly sentimental subplot about a father and daughter, fetchingly thesped by Louis Garrel and Olga Milshtein. It’s also blessedly brief at 76 minutes, which will only enhance its exportability.

In the opening minutes, Louis (Louis Garrel, in his fourth collaboration with his director dad) bails on his relationship with Clothilde (Rebecca Convenant), leaving her to raise their 8-year-old daughter, Charlotte (Milshtein, adorable), so he can shack up with clearly-nothing-but-trouble Claudia (the always compelling contralto-voiced Anna Mouglalis). Claudia is also, like Louis, an actor, although her career is more theoretical at the moment as she hasn’t worked in several years.

Although Louis protests to Clothilde that he’s not earning anything from his latest play, somehow the two of them appear to have enough money to afford a romantically seedy garret apartment. Louis flirts with a fellow cast member (Manon Kneuse) at the theater, but resists sharing anything more than a kiss with her. Claudia, however, has far fewer scruples about infidelity, adopting what some might consider to be a stereotypically French attitude that it doesn’t count if you don’t tell. As she tells one pickup at a bar (Julien Lucas), she likes secrets.

It’s a line echoed elsewhere by Charlotte, in a particularly delicately handled scene in which Clothilde quizzes her daughter about her first meeting with Claudia; Convenant projects with minute subtlety a mother’s almost-convincing attempt to appear jolly to her child while dying on the inside with grief and jealousy. The script by Garrel and regular collaborators Caroline Deruas, Arlette Langmann and Marc Cholodenko sprinkles in a fair few graceful parallelisms like this throughout, and yet the ensemble infuses the dialogue with a spontaneous breeziness, like they’re making it all up on the spot.

That loosey-goosey shambolic quality is Garrel’s schtick, and according to taste, it can seem charming in a new New Wave sort of way, particularly for vocal fans of his 2005 effort “Regular Lovers,” or infuriatingly self-indulgent (as it was in 2011’s hot mess “A Burning Hot Summer”). Somehow the effect is more endearing here, partly due to the pic’s brevity, and partly due to the novel-for-a-Garrel-movie likability of at least some of the characters on display, particularly Charlotte and Louis’ wry little sister, Esther (played by the thesp’s own sister, Esther Garrel). It’s almost enough to make one forgive all the name-dropping about Mayakovsky, whose life is a fetish for the pretentious, resolutely obnoxious Claudia. The casting of more Garrel family members enhances the subtext that the pic, per press notes, is a film a clef reworking of what happened when Maurice, Philippe’s father (and therefore Louis and Esther’s grandfather), left his mother for another woman, with Charlotte standing in for the young Philippe.

Refined widescreen monochrome lensing by venerable veteran Willy Kurant, who shot Godard’s “Masculine Feminine” back in 1966, adds classy luster.  Jean-Louis Aubert’s tinkling, dippy score is less of an asset.

Popular on Variety

Venice Film Review: 'Jealousy'

Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Sept. 4, 2013. Running time: 76 MIN. Original title: "La Jalouisie"

Production:

(France) A Said Ben Said — SBS Prods. presentation. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Produced by Said Ben Said.

Crew:

Directed by Philippe Garrel. Screenplay, Garrel, Caroline Deruas, Arlette Langmann, Marc Cholodenko. Camera (B&W, widescreen, 35mm), Willy Kurant; editor, Yann Dedet; music, Jean-Louis Aubert; production designer, Manu de Chauvigny; costume designer, Justine Pearce; sound (Dolby Digital), Guillaume Sciama; assistant director, Paolo Trotta.

With:

Louis Garrel, Anna Mouglalis, Rebecca Convenant, Olga Milshtein, Esther Garrel, Manon Kneuse, Julien Lucas.

More Film

  • Margot Robbie Big Ticket Podcast

    Margot Robbie Was 'Pretty Rattled' After Reading the 'Bombshell' Script for the First Time

    Margot Robbie took to Twitter to prepare for her role as a conservative news producer and aspiring broadcast journalist for Fox News in “Bombshell.” “Understanding her upbringing and her point of view on politics in the world, that really took me a minute,” Robbie says on today’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s [...]

  • Randy Newman My First Time

    My First Time in Variety: Randy Newman

    “What?! My god.” This is Randy Newman’s reaction upon learning of the first time he ever appeared in the pages of Variety, back in May of 1965. That was three years before he released his first album as a singer-songwriter, at which point he began steadily accruing fans of his warped musical character sketches until [...]

  • Kiri Hart Stephen Feder Ben LeClair

    Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman Expand T-Street With Producer Trio

    Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman are expanding their T-Street studio with Lucasfilm veterans Kiri Hart and Stephen Feder, along with Ben LeClair. Johnson is best known for directing and writing 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which Bergman produced with Kathleen Kennedy. The duo is teamed via T-Street on the upcoming “Knives Out,” starring Daniel [...]

  • Branko Lustig

    Branko Lustig, 'Schindler's List' Producer and Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 87

    Holocaust survivor and Academy Award winner Branko Lustig, who nabbed best picture Oscars for “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” has died at his home in Croatia. He was 87. His death was announced on the website for Festival of Tolerance, which Lustig oversaw as president since 2008. Lustig was born in Osijek, Yugoslavia, in 1932 to [...]

  • Frozen 2

    ‘Frozen 2’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Early reviews are in for the highly anticipated “Frozen 2,” and the sequel stands its ground amid lukewarm responses. Currently sitting at 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Frozen 2” has released to mixed reactions, the main sentiment being that while the film is unnecessary, Disney has released another money-maker that knows how to satisfy its audience. [...]

  • The Way Back Trailer

    'The Way Back' Trailer: Ben Affleck Struggles With Addiction in Basketball Drama

    Ben Affleck struggles with sobriety in Warner Bros.’ first trailer for his sports drama “The Way Back.” Affleck plays construction worker Jack Cunningham, who has a routine of drinking at every opportunity — in the shower, at work and at home. That routine is interrupted when he’s asked to coach the high school basketball team [...]

  • Mark Koven Music

    Film Composers Tap Into Offbeat Inspirations for Scores

    An electro-acoustic cello for a comic-book villain. Sampled whistling for young revolutionaries in a Latin American jungle. A German rendition of a Beatles song for a satire on the Third Reich. A retro synth score for the tribulations of a gambling addict. Angry, dissonant music for two men alone in a 19th-century lighthouse. Avant-garde saxophone [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content