Starring: Marion Cotillard, Guillaume Canet, Thibault Verhaeghe, Josephine Lebas-Joly
Directed by: Yann Samuell
Synopsis: As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children — a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another’s pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another.
This is one of those films that occasionally you just stumble across and fall in love with. In my case, I turned over on TV one night and it was relatively near to the start. For some reason it captured my imagination and attention and I couldn’t stop watching.
The funny thing was, I didn’t know any of it’s stars (Cotillard wasn’t a star back then) and I didn’t catch the title of the film, so I never found out what it was. After several years and improvements in technology (IMDb), I finally found out what it was, and promptly got hold of a copy and watched it again with fresh eyes. And I still found it fantastic!
The film tracks the relationship, from childhood to adulthood of Julien (Canet) and Sophie (Cotillard). They basically start a game where they dare each other to do more and more outrageous things. It starts fairly innocently and then as they get older it becomes more and more dangerous and risky.
The game that started innocently between two children starts to poison their relationship as they get older, and realise that they are in love. They use the game as an excuse to ruin each others lives until eventually they end up with nothing but each other.
It’s a really clever film, especially in it’s use of colour. The colour scheme changes from when the characters are children to when they are adults, to when they are an old couple. The song ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Edith Piaf features a few times in different guises (Cotillard went on to play Piaf in the film of the same name).
Many critics derided the film on release, due to the unlikeable lead characters, but I didn’t find I had that problem when I watched it. Sure, they are pretty horrible people, but it certainly didn’t ruin the film. It has a childlike quality at times that really won me over.