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Hidden Diary

2009 [FRENCH]


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Catherine Deneuve Photo
Catherine Deneuve as Martine
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962.43 MB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 11 / 18
1.93 GB
French 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 9 / 24

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by guy-bellinger10 / 10

Being a woman, being a daughter, being a mother: never a bed of roses

Before screening "Mères et filles" I had seen only one of the four films signed Julie Lopes-Curval and I did not expect the shock I experienced here. All I remember of "Bord de mer" (2002) is a moody stagnant atmosphere, good acting, the importance of women in the story and a seaside location. Sure the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and there are common points in the writer-director's world: the seaside place (here, the Arcachon Basin has replaced the Bay of Somme),the all-importance of women (even more obvious in "Mères et filles") and excellent acting (Bulle Ogier, Ludmila Mikaël, Hélène Fillières, Jonathan Zaccaï in the first film; Catherine Deneuve, Marina Hands, Marie-Josée Croze, Michel Duchaussoy in the second). But "Bord de mer", although the sensitive account of small town life, did not generate much enthusiasm. By comparison, "Mères et filles" , a striking description of a dysfunctional family, proves much more powerful: it moves you deeply - even upsets you - while, thanks to a brilliantly structured screenplay, it keeps you glued to your seat throughout. And that is not all, for the film also functions on the symbolic level. Indeed, telling a story that concerns granddaughter, mother and grandmother allows Lopes-Curval to reflect on the condition of women the day before yesterday, yesterday and today. How does Julie Lopes-Curval manage to achieve such a feat? Through talent of course (she has made much progress since 2002),through the choice of the ideal actors and finally through an apparently simple but actually complex script.

"Mères et filles" tells the story of Audrey (Marina Hands, unaffected and intense),pregnant and living in Canada, who visits her parents (Catherine Deneuve, aggressive and disturbed; Michel Duchaussoy, easy-going and understanding) in the seaside town where she was born. Finding it hard to put up with her mother, Audrey settles in the house of her grandparents. There she discovers the diary once written by her grandmother Louise (Marie-Josée Croze, whose restrained performance makes her character all the more moving). Audrey then comes to learn the story of this woman who gave up her family, left, and never returned. Determined to know the truth she causes a crisis in the family.

Julie Lopes-Curval's story is in no way exceptional and had it been told in flash-backs, it might have been just another film but "Mères et filles" plays in another league.Where it breaks new ground it is by making the scenes in the past the figment of Audrey's subjectivity. As a result, whenever we think we know the truth, this "truth" is challenged until another one is revealed, and so on until the final revelation. Such a device makes the film exciting from the beginning to the end and prevents it from remaining dryly theoretical or boringly gushy.

Amazingly well played (Deneuve, for instance, is at her best as Martine, a doctor who can support her patients but is unable to sympathize with her loved ones),very realistic (by way of example, the rows between Deneuve and Hands ring terribly true) and relevant (my own mother went through an ordeal similar to Louise's in the nineteen fifties with a husband who killed her slowly),"Mères et filles", is a success in every department and is -it goes without saying - recommended.

Reviewed by PipsHeritage9 / 10

The different forms and faces of emotional neglect

Mères et Filles is a brilliantly-accurate study of how the consequences of emotional neglect, and emotional abuse, shows up differently in different personalities: one becomes harsh, mean and bitter, even to their own flesh and blood, and another becomes more or less a shadow of herself, almost wanting to disappear, unable to attach to anyone, preferring an old maid's life and the clothing-style to go with it (which signals "Leave me be; I'm quite content being a grey mouse; it makes me feel safe"). Marina Hands (brilliant, introverted yet intense, multi-layered acting) even got the body language down perfectly: the way Audrey walks is with a posture of a dog beaten one too many times too often. She walks and acts like she wants to be invisible, so people leave her alone. Even the tone of her voice tells the damage done: she speaks with the soft, shy, insecure tone of a little girl. (A development which you can even see in abandoned animals. Like I see in my 6-year old cat who was rejected by his mother and siblings and still produces a kitten-like meow, looks with his big, surprised eyes into the world, quite on his guard one time and lovey-dovey-kissy-kissy the next.) When you see how the mother, Martine (brilliantly portrayed by Catherine Deneuve) treats her daughter, you understand. Audrey didn't develop fully emotionally because all her energy went into trying to survive her mother's constant insensitive comments on everything she does and says. It costs a lot of energy to try not to get affected by the constant bullying and rejection of someone who should love you for who you are and give you the stable, inspiring and calm space to develop your own, unique identity. The mother thinks, with her merciless treatment of her daughter, to prepare and toughen her up for the big, bad world out there, but creates with that insensitive attitude quite the opposite: the daughter becomes a scared, commitment-phobic, frightened little mouse with only her work to cling on to. You see it so often in people who were emotionally and physically abused: the person they could have become has been murdered; They have become but a shadow of themselves. And more sensitive to future hurt than harnessed for it. (Only a good safety net in the form of a loving home environment can harness you against future damage.) It is so incredibly sad. I never thought it to be so universal: The well-dressed and -coiffed but icy, snappy mother and the sober, almost frumpish-dressed daughter who moves and talks like on constant egg-shells (we also saw that image in Ingmar Bergman's "Autumn Sonata"). It's too bad there is not a book about this story, because I would want to read more about the details in the development of the personalities of the three women. I think there is so much to say about the decorum people sub-consciously choose, how their body language came about, the tone in their voice and their interactions with other people. Maybe Sophie Hiet could still write one?

Reviewed by writers_reign9 / 10

Three On A Mis-Match

Who knew. Call a film Mothers and Daughters and it's not gonna draw flies. It's been done before - back in the 1960s Evan Hunter even wrote a fine novel with the same title, albeit he did so after he'd established himself as a fine writer as no one is going to buy something with so banal a title by an unknown. Similarly Julie Lopes-Curval has turned out some excellent screenplays and made a great writing-directing debut with Bord de mer before hitting us with Mothers and Daughters which is close to a masterpiece. The story of three generations of women benefits enormously from the actresses chosen, none more so than the outstanding Marina Hands, who, as the last generation, i.e. the daughter of Catherine Deneuve and granddaughter of Marie-Josee Croze is saddled with the emotionally-scarred baggage of the two previous generations; it's impossible to overpraise the acting of all three leads who take the brilliant screenplay by the scruff of the neck and wring it dry. Not perhaps one for the Multiplex exactly but a terrific art-house entry.

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