The delicious new film by acclaimed writer/director Christophe Honoré (Love Songs, Inside Paris) is a light and playful new comedy about love and fidelity set over the course of one life-changing night.
Maria (Chiara Mastroianni – in a bravura performance that won her the Un Certain Regard Prize for Best Actress at Cannes) is a formidable university professor, whose stale marriage of two decades has seen her seek out affection elsewhere. After their latest squabble, Maria checks into the hotel directly across the street from their apartment; article 212 of the French civil code states spouses “owe each other respect, fidelity, support and assistance”, so it’s no coincidence that the room she’s allocated bears this number.
As it happens, the room offers more than a bird’s eye view of her home; she’s magically able to scrutinise not only her husband (played – in a delectable piece of casting – by the actress’s own ex, Benjamin Biolay) but scenes from their marriage. The arrival of some unexpected visitors from their past complicates things further: they have opinions too, and plan to share them…
Funny, sexy and impeccably performed, there’s good reason this film drew ovations at Cannes and some of the best reviews of Honoré’s career.