Alice et Martin (Alice and Martin) (2000)
In this romantic French drama, auteur Andre Techine offers an intense, intimate look inside the complex relationship between two emotionally dysfunctional people. Neither Alice (Juliette Binoche) nor Martin (Alexis Loret) seem emotionally healthy enough to sustain a relationship, but somehow they manage to stay together amidst their many personal problems. The two met in Paris, where Martin fled after escaping the oppression of his recently deceased tyrannical father. Once in the City of Light, the depressed Martin attempts suicide and later accepts an offer to stay with his half-brother Benjamin (Mathieu Amalric) and his roommate Alice, a violinist, in their ramshackle garret. Shortly thereafter, Martin is spotted by a modeling agent and finds steady work on the city's catwalks. At first, Martin and Alice do not get along. He is brutish and incapable of expressing emotion. He pursues her, but Alice is not terribly interested, until her sexual frustration and need to be loved gets the better of her, and she succumbs to his advances. She then decides to leave Benjamin and travel with Martin to a modelling assignment in Granada, Spain. There the two are briefly happy, but as time passes, Martin's self-absorption increases. Alice's announcement that she is pregnant precipitates a crisis in which Martin reveals that he caused his father's death. Unable to bear the guilt and pain any longer, he commits himself to a mental institution and then requests he be given his day in court. Alice is convinced that Martin is innocent of the crime with which he has charged himself. When he insists on going to court, she goes there to save him from himself. … More
as Victor Savignac
as Mrs. Savignac
as Martin ...
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Critic Reviews for Alice et Martin (Alice and Martin)
Binoche and newcomer Loret give committed performances, but Alice and Martin's romance is never completely convincing.
This staid, somber film is heartening proof that what doesn't kill us might indeed make us stronger.
Andre Téchiné extracts superb performances and finds drama in the everyday moments of human interaction.
The sheer neurotic intensity of Techine's characters -- characteristically stretching both backward and forward in time, as in a Faulkner novel--holds one throughout, as does Techine's masterful direction and many of the other performances.
Alice and Martin is not to be missed, particularly in this endless lull of summer.
For all the increasing sophistication of Téchiné's technique, the emotions he deals with are basic, and all the more powerful for it.
Binoche's character is sketchily drawn. Although she gives an admirable, unshowy performance, her role is underwritten, with the script frequently using her as the engine that propels the plot.
The movie is long, but doesn't feel that way, and despite a dearth of interesting visuals after the first 20 minutes, it makes for a welcome change of pace from Hollywood
Director André Téchiné here eschews that French lightness and opts instead for what is apparently supposed to pass for psychological profundity.
This long-winded, uninteresting, uninvolving and tedious French pic is another example of a filmmaker (Andre Techine) who's too involved with one of his cast members
With his thirteenth feature, André Téchiné conducts a masterly dissection of male hysteria.
Everything that's wrong with French cinema is on display in Alice et Martin.
Alice et Martin has its faults, but there's some real meat here, in the performances and direction.
I was disappointed to learn that the whole drama hinged on a single traumatic event, but in the meantime, I was happy to spend time with the people.
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