Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

The Last Day (2004) MFA, French (13 July 2006)

The Last Day (Le Dernier jour, France, 2004, 108 min.)

I was trying to think of what film this one reminded me of and the IMDb page made me realize it: Eighteen.  [Which I still need to post about.  I am obscenely behind, I know.]

On the Red Line home that night, I learned that the director used to be a dancer, which explains why there were so many extended shots of basically the human body in motion.

There was some interesting stuff going on, and I am far from opposed to dark&fucked-up, but the long shots of nothingness were really the dealbreaker for me.

IMDb: Plot Outline: A man's return home is offset by his unrequited love for another man

Though when they're dancing in the barn (or wherever) and Louise makes them kiss each other and they were fairly enthusiastic about it, I totally wanted fic of the two guys getting together (and totally wanted Simon as the take charge top to his friend's reluctance -- even though I'm not sure how that would work in character... and I swear the Firefly!Simon thing didn't occur to me until just now).

"Is it a problem that I... get on well with her?" -Simon's friend (Mathieu?) to Simon re: Louise
And of course Simon says no it's fine, even though it's totally not.  ::hits him::

"It's strong.  Let me try again.  Not bad." -Simon's mom, to Simon, on an apple martini (or something) that he made.  V. nicely delivered.

Simon and his friend arguing about Louise (specifically about her wearing makeup)
friend: "Lit from within."
Simon: "Like a Breton lighthouse."
Because Simon is arguing that she looks like a tart, I felt like "Breton lighthouse" was some sort of Moulin Rouge type allusion, but I'm not French so I have no idea.

It's also an interesting tension because he's not out to desexualize her wholly (earlier he asks her why they haven't made love yet) but he definitely wants to keep her to himself.

Her going to bed still wearing all that makeup seemed ridiculous to me (I'm so far from a girlie girl and even I know you don't go to bed with your makeup still on) though she really does look beautiful and striking.  And when they are playing tennis in the next scene, she really does look v. different without the makeup (though still v. pretty).  Throughout the film, I was frequently struck by how different characters would look at different times. Re: tennis, also, Simon's playing alone against the pair of them... la la la metaphor.  (And he tries so hard and still he loses.  They look much more like they're just having fun.)

"He bores you when I'm not around?" -Simon to Louise after she asks where he was, says they looked all over for him
She never explicitly affirms this, but she clearly prizes him highly (going in with him after the party instead of staying with his friend).  And she says she's in love with the friend but we don't see a whole lot of this because the story of the three of them is told almost entirely from his perspective (insofar as the way the camera focuses etc.).

"We can't love as we like but differently." -Louise, to Simon
That line sounds Shakespearean.

And dude, so frustrating that she never actually tells him who she is -- why they can't be together "like that."  And she does ultimately leave him for his friend (though she leaves him her contact info, and if we're gonna get technical about semantics: she goes home and invites his friend to go with her).

I really like the mom's explanation of her cheating (she wanted another kid, her husband wouldn't go for it, so she found someone who would) though of course the fact that she keeps going back to him now that he's returned twenty years later (something she doesn't tell Simon, of course) is symptomatic of a deeper problem in her relationship with her husband.  And I really believe her when she tells him she's bored.

Marc's already checked out when Simon goes to look for him... and apparently this is the last straw in the spiral of suck that is this boy's life.

We repeat the scene the film opened with: him slamming his head against the window, shattering it, and wow, artsy (in a way that I like) with the blood dripping out of his mouth.  (I was reminded of Lady Deathstrike in X2.)  The ending monologue, though?  Fucked up.  It's Simon, unsure as to whether he's dead or not, saying it doesn't matter because he'll be back next year, with his "Mommy" (the French definitely had "petite" in there, which while sense-making as it is a diminutive, was weird) which feels to me like it suddenly makes this story into a weird Oedipal thing, which I don't see having any real basis in the previous two hours or whatever.
Tags: film: mfa, films: foreign: french, movies: watched

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