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aka - Temps Qui Changent, Les
France 2004
Directed by
André Téchiné
90 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Changing Times

Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu who play the leads here first collaborated in 1980 in Truffaut’s Le Dernier Métro. A quarter of a century later their looks may be gone (not that they ever were on an equal footing in that respect) but for both actors age seems only to have improved them as performers.

Deneuve still plays emotionally aloof characters but it is leavened by an almost grand-maternal affection in her demeanour.. The lived-in looks also becomes Depardieu who here, unusually, plays a bashful anxiety-prone character, Antoine, who is unable to overcome his love for Cécile (Deneueve) who dumped him decades ago for reasons unexplained. She is now married with a philandering husband and a bi-sexual son who lives with a drug addict (an impressive performance from Lubna Azabal who also plays her twin sister, a devout Muslim). When Antoine, now a successful construction project manager, hears she is living in Tangiers he has himself posted there in a mad attempt to win her back.

Les Temps Qui Changent, scripted by Téchiné with Laurent Guyot and Pascal Bonitzer is a delightfully worldly rom-com for the middle-aged and beyond. It’s feel-good but not in a way that denies the realities of life but rather one that capture the youthful spirit of love. The film looks like it had a small budget, with the narrative having some large ellipses, however veteran director Téchiné is as assured as his leads and the result is a heartwarming gift.




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