Eternité France 2016 – 115min.

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Movie Rating: Geoffrey Crété

At the end of the 19th century, 20-year-old Valentine, from an upper middle class family, marries Jules. She has several children, much happiness, and even more drama. Her children include a son who falls in love with Mathilde, with whom he founds a family. His sister Gabrielle is close to Mathilde, who is like a sister herself. Over the years, the fates of these three women emerge.

The French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung received worldwide acclaim in 1993 for The Scent of Green Papaya, which debuted at Cannes, was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film and received the Cesar for best debut film. His sixth film, adapted from the novel L’Élégance des veuves by Alice Ferney, is an amazing journey over several decades, with a haunting voice, virtually no dialogue, and a great attention to detail and period styles. Because Hung does not follow the classic rules of fiction, Eternity can be off-putting, but it is still an ambitious and romantic movie with sumptuous images. The result is not as great as hoped, but it is still strong enough to merit the attention it is receiving.



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