You may not ultimately agree with Valée's big spiritual pay off (it may be interpreted as a mere excuse for a middle-aged man to have an affair) but it's undeniably gripping, creative, and brash cinema.
As these parallel narratives unfold, separated by time and space but conjoined by their shared motifs of love, loss, jealousy and obsession, hints emerge of other, less strictly thematic connections between them.
It's themes of spirituality, religion and love eternal in an increasingly secular and jaded world is wonderfully presented and touching in its tangibility, although it often ventures into brazen territory.
Playful, painful, willfully strange, deeply emotional and deliberately, delightfully obscure at times, Café de Flore, from French-Canadian writer-director Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y.), is a puzzle-film par excellence.