La Vie Promise (2004)
Sylvia (Huppert) is a prostitute in Nice, with a self-protective talent for blocking out huge chunks of her past. When her 14-year-old daughter, Laurence (Maud Forget), skips out on foster care to see her biological mom, Sylvia is rudely dismissive. In an episode of bad timing, Laurence ends up stabbing a pimp in Sylvia's apartment. Estranged mother and daughter beat a hasty retreat heading north via train, bus and the kindness of strangers to reunite with the husband and 8-year-old son she skipped out on after the boy's birth landed her in a psychiatric hospital. Sylvia's heartbreaking and perhaps impossible goal is nothing short of trying to put all the things that have come apart in her life back together again. -- © Empire Pictures … More
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Critic Reviews for La Vie Promise
There is nothing [Huppert] can't do -- except save Promise from the valley of the shadow of bad French movie pretensions.
Like an old Hollywood star vehicle, this French import does its job, providing its lead actress with compelling emotional circumstances and its audience with arresting contexts through which to perceive her.
It all does come down to Huppert with this film, to the moods, emotional states and character moments she can create, to the delicate magic she can work on screen.
Even Huppert can only do so much to sustain a phony weepie about the impromptu parent-child road trip that occurs after Sylvia's estranged teenage daughter 'accidentally' kills one of Mom's brutal pimps.
[The film is] strongest when Huppert is plying her sordid trade, her face a cracking mask of emotional devastation.
La Vie Promise is a road movie that holds little of the hope of its title despite its almost upbeat ending.
Olivier Dahan's ("Crimson Rivers 2") awkwardly pretentious direction is overcome by the fabulous performances of his three stars
The Promised Life is not particularly original either in conception or execution, but it still manages to be interesting and stylish enough to get the better of its cliches.
La Vie Promise offers a fairly engaging story and great scenery. Huppert manages to chew up the latter as she adds heat to the former.
This is a rare road picture that leaves us knowing less about our traveling companions than we did when the journey started; Dahan and screenwriter Agnes Fustier-Dahan reduce their characters to pasteboard symbols, colored by unexplained quirks.
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