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Review - An Impossible Love

Rachel (Virginie Efira) meets and falls in love with Philippe (Niels Schneider). Their passionate trust results in the birth of a girl, Chantal. However, after becoming pregnant, Philippe shows less and less interested in Rachel. Over the course of the next 40 years, we see Rachel coping with the maturation of her daughter and the random moments Philippe chooses to return to their lives, continuing to show his darker side.
An Impossible Love is based on the novel by French writer Christine Angot. Those not familiar with her should note that she has a tendency to be quasi-biographical in her work, injecting elements of her own life into her fiction. An Impossible Love is a challenging and uncompromising view of a destructive force in your life and the complicated facets that define it. It’s also about unconditional love, which Rachel shows for her daughter despite the noticeable flame she consistently holds for Philippe.
The performances here are fantastic, with the standout being Virginie Efira. While you may not be on board with every decision she makes, there’s a great mix of vulnerability and strength to her character and makes her feel so effortlessly human.Director Catherine Corsini has a quasi-classical romantic vibe going on, especially in the opening. The meet-cute and idyllic way these opening moments are shot and presented excellently disarm the audience to just how depressing and messed up events will eventually become.
An Impossible Love may go to some squeamish places for audiences, but it’s an excellently understated story with fantastic performances and devastating reveals. Some of the scenes are incredibly difficult to watch and it doesn’t hold your hand through any of this, but it’s daring and very human in how it tackles these subjects.

Written in March 2019, by Daniel Kiniry


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