Kings and Queen (2004)

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Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos, Catherine Deneuve, Maurice Garrel


A young violist is committed to a mental hospital by his quartet leader in conspiracy with his sister; meanwhile his ex-wife attempts to wean her son off her recently deceased father while not involving her new partner and soon-to-be husband.

The Review

Impossibly complicated when summed up in a couple of sentences, this beautifully nuanced and sustained film follows in the footsteps of Desplechin's earlier Ma Vie Sexuelle... by engaging the charismatic Amalric as its lynchpin together with the eponymous Devos. It speaks of father-child relationships, whether biological or not, and offers plenty of food for thought, or simply enjoyment, for those seduced by this elegantly arranged brand of cinema, where allusive dialogue and widescreen composition go hand in hand with abrupt transitions and plentiful jump cuts.