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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 30 November 2013
I must admit that twenty minutes into this two hour film I considered turning it off. I was finding it difficult to follow and it didn't grab me.

However, I persevered and I'm glad I did. The film essentially follows the intense love between a mother (Paradis) and her son in Parisian 60s.

And the love for a narcissistic Canadian DJ. His new intense relationship with his soulmate, and his wife. (who believed they were soulmates.)

Sounds complicated but it is beautifully shot, superbly acted and had my was heart racing towards the end. A special mention should go to the children who were faultless in their acting.

I thought it was going to disappoint and I couldn't have been more wrong.

Definitely recommended.

"If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours forever. If it doesn't, it wasn't meant to be.
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on 31 August 2014
I first saw this stunning film when it was shown on BBC4. Initially I wasn't entirely sure what to make of it or how I felt about it. I thought it had some obvious merits such as the fantastic soundtrack and cinematography but was rather baffled by the plot and decided to give it another watch. I'm glad that I did as I think it is a film which improves for the viewer with repeated viewings. The film weaves together many different subjects and themes - the sorrows and joys of both platonic and romantic love, duty, the pursuit of happiness, destiny, jealousy, desire, the pain of separation, social attitudes towards those who are different and metaphysical themes about death and reincarnation. A previous reviewer described it as 'hauntingly beautiful' which is exactly right. The visual imagery is frequently surreal (reminiscent of David Lynch) giving the film a dreamlike and sometimes nightmarish quality. Superbly acted by all concerned, emotionally involving, spiritually uplifting and intellectually provocative, this is an exceptional film which I think will grow in stature and come to be seen as one of the masterpieces of world cinema. Definitely not to be missed.
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on 18 June 2015
This is a work of genius. The writing (and I say this as a professional writer) is remarkable, taking what seems to be a very complex double story, weaving it in what seem to be incomprehgensible ways, yet bringing disparate things together in a stunning finale. The cinematography involves tight sequences, sometimes mere flashes from scene to scene, making things seem jumbled until the stories mesh. Most reviewers ignore one crucial thing: the reincarnation theme, whether to be taken at face value or as a way of seeing how one story parallels the other. The direction is very assured, keeping us guessing yet fully informed. And the director extracts remakrkable performances from the Downs syndrome boy who acts the part of Venssa Paradis's son with a very sure hand. It is a classic that will grow in reputation as time passes. Many newspaper and magazine reviewers disliked it. It's clear they simply didn't get it.
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on 30 August 2013
For me,this was one of those films some will find dull,but others will appreciate as a thinking film.
It's a film of two stories separated by about 50 years and yet connecting in various ways,becoming one,this makes sense as the film goes on.

In the 60's,we have a young mother caring alone for her son with down's syndrome,fighting ignorance from other people and battling her own insecurities as her son falls for a girl with down's.

Then we have today's story of a man who has everything,a great job,2 kids,loved partner,happiness,but he also has a past he struggles to let go off.
His now separated wife and mother of his kids is bitter about his new life and struggles to accept things as they are. She also has some odd dreams,dreams that make sense to the viewer as the film goes on.

I liked the way this film goes from one story to the other and get closer and closer to each other,as if their about to crash into each other,seperated only by time.

The connections and struggles with acceptance really give this film a lot of powerful emotions and a unique feel,it's a film beautifully crafted and acted,Vanessa Paradis is superb,but so is everyone else and more to the point,so is this gem of a movie.
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The director/writer oif this film Jean-Marc Vallee certainly does not lack in imagination and ambition. This film unravels a bit like a rubiks cube, but when everything slots into place at the end your patience is rewarded. There are times when it can be a little frustrating but on the whole it makes for fascinating viewing. Two stories run parallel to each other throughout the film. One is set in sixties Paris where mother Vanessa Paradis struggles to bring up her young boy with downs syndrome. Their relationship founded on deep love, is put to the test when her son becomes infatuated with a young girl at his school also with downs syndrome. The other story is set in contemporary Montreal where a handsome travelling DJ is passionately in love with an attractive new flame, whilst his ex suffers the agonies of rejection. The analogy between the two stories becomes obvious. With its themes of entwined destinies and reincarnation with a peppering of mysticism, it is heady thought provoking stuff.

The film is typically Gallic in its hyper-romantic approach where love is so intense that it could sizzle bacon rashers, and there is a lot of sizzling going on! To the beat of a pretty cool soundtrack there are a lot of meaningful looks, but to be fair the film is very well acted. The film is very cerebral in its approach and there are times when it seems to float away into the upper stratospheres. Only a Frenchman could do such saturn rocket fuelled love stuff. Without giving too much away I did have to suspend belief a bit when a spiritualist entered into proceedings, but this did not take away from my enjoyment of the film. It is beautifully filmed, slickly directed and very well acted with a satisfying conclusion that makes you think a bit. Quite long at nearly two hours, but rewards the viewer who likes a more thoughtful film.
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on 5 January 2013
This is a really excellent film. It`s in French with English subtitles but that helps because it`s a film that needs full attention. It can be a bit complicated with the two stories running alongside each other. Both tales are interesting and it`s easy to feel sympathy with the main characters in the story.
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on 29 November 2012
This film was very moving I love the fact it portrayed a disability linked in with a tragedy plus the ultimate love story between a mother and son and two lovers. The acting was superb the scenery outstanding would whole heartedly recommend this film
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on 24 February 2014
This is a very mystical film which brings about the concepts and reincarnation and karma.

I recommend.

This is a eclectic film which would not appeal to those who prefer special effects to story line and acting.

A great film, I loved it.
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on 23 October 2014
I agree with one of the other reviewers that the first 20 mins are confusing and disorienting but once you have established who is who in the present, near past and past one's attention is held for the duration. Certainly there is a predictability about an unhappy ending, but who is going to suffer it keeps one rapt.

For such a complicated film we felt lost without the usual interviews which are a must here. Otherwise it might have got 5 stars.
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on 6 February 2015
I loved this when I saw at cinema and simply had to have it in my possession. The greatest most poignant film I have ever seen and I have seen most films. The music is fabulous and I am trying to get the sound tracks but all by different artists and sound track not for sale.
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