A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Here is a French movie about a family that is unhappy in so manydifferent ways that death is not a defeat but an escape. It is about theway a hurt in childhood can bend and shape an adult life years later,and about the way guilt may make us regret being selfish, but isunlikely to make us generous. It is a sad film, but not a depressingone; to some degree it is a comedy.
Andre Techine's "My Favorite Season" is one of those intriguing films that functions without a plot, and uses instead an intensecuriosity about its characters. As it opens, an old woman (MartheVillalonga) has reached the point where she should no longer live alone.
Her daughter (Catherine Deneuve) brings her home to live with herfamily, which includes a daughter (Chiara Mastroianni), an adopted son(Anthony Prada) and the son's uninhibited Moroccan girlfriend (CarmenChaplin). There is also a husband (Jean-Pierre Bouvier), who is remotefrom the others.
The mother is not happy in the family's bourgeois home inToulouse. She sits by the swimming pool in the middle of the night,talking fretfully under her breath ("Sometimes I talk to myself--it'sless exhausting than talking to someone else"). Deneuve goes to pay avisit on her unmarried younger brother (Daniel Auteuil), whom she hasnot seen for three years, since they quarreled at their father'sfuneral. He is invited to a Christmas dinner for the entire family. Soonwe will find that Christmas is probably not anyone's favoriteseason.