Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Isabelle Huppert is as graceful as ever in the latest from Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On, VIFF 12). She plays Françoise "Frankie" Crémont, a famous actress who has summoned friends and family to the lovely Portuguese town of Sintra. It’s a group vacation she’s curated and orchestrated with some secret motives; over the course of this deceptively casual film, our understanding of her aims becomes clearer, though Sachs is daring enough to leave some mysteries intact.
The ensemble cast includes Brendan Gleeson as Frankie’s husband Jimmy, Jérémie Renier as her son Paul, Marisa Tomei as her old friend Ilene and many other superb performers; Huppert is the seductive centre around which they orbit. This leading lady has graced VIFF screens for decades, bringing us characters of great range but always maintaining a shimmering Gallic elegance. Here, her beauty is matched by that of the lush settings; Sintra may be the perfect place to set a summer drama, and Sachs makes the most of its landscapes.
"Reveals a quietly exquisite beauty… an achingly honest portrait of what life has to offer." - David Ehrlich, Indiewire