Thursday, June 12, 2008


Because I liked Just a Question of Love [2000] so much, I rented a movie by the same director, Christian Faure, about a necessarily closeted gay couple in occupied France who take in a young Jewish woman. It's called A Love to Hide [2005].

Very well done, although parts of it do play like bits of other, better known movies. There are certainly Holocaust-like weaknesses [all the horrible events of the time happen to one small group of people], and the good guys are so good, and the bad guys so bad, that you do begin to wonder what the producers were thinking: even WWII wasn't that simple.

On the other hand, for a TV movie, it's remarkable.

Lots of complicated plot: she loves him, but he loves Him, and his brother loves her, who is pretending to be a relative of Him, who is working for the resistance while the brother collaborates... needless to say, it all comes flying apart and a lot of people suffer.

The leads, Jeremie Renier, Louise Monot, Bruno Todeschini and Nicholas Gob [as the one ambiguous character in the movie, a bit rich for occupied France] are all good; Monot in particular does an amazing job. Charlotte de Turckheim, who was so funny as the ditzy mother in Times Have Been Better, another very good French TV movie with a gay theme, does the "mother of gay son" thing again here in a decidedly darker story. The film catches the emotional charges flying about in a situation where noone can say what they really mean, in a most moving way.

You will see that the second cover, while it does erase Monot, who is in fact the very heart of the story, at least intimates that things don't end well, which the first cover rather slides over... The prison and Flossenburg sections are definitely not for the faint-hearted; they are also the most exaggerated and manipulative. There are plenty of powerful scenes, though: Monot's declaration of love for Renier, and his impassioned speech against marrying her despite her willingness, despite her knowledge of his real love, hit me like a hammer. The relationship of Gob and Monot is complicated and wrenching, if a little less convincing.

I am actually quite glad that the Goat was uninterested in watching it when he was here last: he would have been a complete mess by the end. I cried, and I am famously wrestling with internalized homophobia...

My question is: if French TV can make this kind of movie, why do we get such tripe?

Here's something weird:

Even though I changed the name of my post to "Star Wars #30," it is still coming up from Google searches for "star wars xxx."

Anybody out there know how to let these poor bastards off the hook?

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