To reveal anything about the ravishing, unexpected twist in the latest of François Ozon’s audacious, elegant and witty melodramas would do the film a significant disservice. Envisage a gloriously conceived, sublimely realised amalgam of Douglas Sirk and Christopher Isherwood, and be sure that Ozon will have surpassed your wildest imaginings.

Claire (Anaïs Demoustier), devastated by the death of her best friend, makes a promise to watch over her husband (Romain Duris) and newborn child. Battling through a fog of depression, she reluctantly drags herself to the home of her friend’s widower only to make a startling discovery about the form his grief has taken. At first shocked and resistant, then progressively seduced, she ultimately finds expression for her own anguish and repressed desires.

Demoustier (Elles – JDIFF 2012) and Duris (Mood Indigo – JDIFF 2014) give superb performances, perfectly attuned to the film’s observations about gender, class and consumerism while conspiring to paint a layer of normality over the deliciously subversive story.

Clare Stewart
BFI London Film Festival


Please note that the festival is over 18s only