Film Review: ‘A Faithful Man’

Variety | 7/19/2019 | Peter Debruge
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French actor Louis Garrel has been married twice, first to Iranian talent Golshifteh Farahani, and now to model-****-actress Laetitia Casta. He has also directed two features, the first a free-wheeling love-triangle comedy called “Two Friends” in which Garrel plays the cad who comes between his best friend and the object of his obsession (played by Farahani), and the other the relatively low-key drama “A Faithful Man,” centered on a different sort of triangle, in which two women (one played by Casta) compete for Garrel’s affections.

That description grossly oversimplifies both movies, and yet, their personalities could not be more different, hardly even the work of the same filmmaker, which must say something about Garrel’s state of mind in these two marriages. If “Two Lovers” was a lively New Wave lark, exploding with color and energy, then “A Faithful Man” is its sober, cerebral opposite, gray and stylistically restrained, an efficient short story of a film that feels more like an intellectual exercise than an emotional experience.

Film - Review - Faithful - Man

Film Review: 'A Faithful Man'

Barely 75 minutes with credits, “A Faithful Man” wastes no time establishing its premise: Writer-director Louis Garrel plays Abel, who is getting ready to head out one morning when his girlfriend of three years, Marianne (Garrel’s real-life girlfriend, Laetitia Casta), calmly announces that she is pregnant. The baby, she says, belongs to Abel’s best friend, Paul, whom she plans to marry as soon as possible. Abel barely reacts, accepting the news without argument, although his voiceover makes clear that he never stops loving her.

Voiceover - Film - Features - Running - Time

This voiceover, which opens the film and features rather prominently throughout its tight running time, is a collaboration between Garrel and Jean-Claude Carrière, one of the greatest screenwriters working in French — or in any language, for that matter. Carrière’s credits include “Belle de Jour” and several key Luis...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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