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April 23, 2007 | by  | in Film |
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Twice Upon a Time (Désaccord parfait)

Fans of French comedy will need no prompting to see this delightful and hilarious film. The latest instalment in screen legend Charlotte Rampling’s career renaissance sees Antoine de Caunes directing her opposite French star Jean Rochefort. Actress Alice D’Abanville (Rampling) and director Louis Ruinard (Rochefort) were France’s glamour couple of the 1970s, making hit films with their cinematic talents and steamy headlines with their tempestuous romance. One day Alice suddenly and inexplicably ditches Louis, stops making films, and leaves France for her native England, where she marries an aristocrat (BBC veteran Ian Richardson, in another deliciously twisted role). Thirty years later, Louis is selected for a BAFTA life achievement award, and some bright spark with a keen sense of humour and curiosity decides it would be a great idea if Alice would present this award to Louis, twice upon a time as it were.

With Alice less than keen and Louis salivating at the idea of seeing her again, the consequences promise to be involving. De Caunes doesn’t disappoint.

Several scenes are particularly side-splitting. In one, a blood-drenched Alice chases Louis around the set of Titus Andronicus, which she is currently rehearsing. In another, a disgracefully nouveau riche Montreal plastic surgeon asks Alice who ‘did her’, which is hilariously punctuated by Louis breaking out in peanut-induced hives, crashing the party. And finally, there is the dog eat viagra scene.

At the same time, Rampling and Rochefort are two fantastic actors who would be wasted on mere comedy. The tension, longing and passion crackle between them in early scenes as de Caunes eases into a titillating will they/won’t they scenario.

There are a few plot twists unfolding in the film which would be spoilt if I detailed them here. It’s also worth commenting on how hot Charlotte Rampling is at 60.

ANTOINE DE CAUNES

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