Romance and mating gets a dissection by director Jacques Rivette (a former Cahiers du Cinema film critic) and writer Pascal Bonitzer as the affairs of the heart and loin of six men and women intertwine, fray and unravel. French actress Camille (Jeanne Balibar) returns to the Paris stage in Pirandello’s As You Desire Me
after three years in Italy. Her romance with co-star Ugo (Sergio Castellitto) feels empty so she reconnects with former lover Pierre (Jacques Bonanaffe), a scholar married to ballet teacher Sonia (Marianne Basler). Ugo searches for the unpublished manuscript of playwright Goldoni and flirts with a student (Helene de Fougerolles) while her thief stepbrother (Bruno Todeschini) attempts to seduce all three central females. The story (translated as Who Knows
) is drenched in the parallels of performance art and life. It is convoluted but delicately structured, slow starting and overly long, but wistfully comic and well-worth savoring.