“From the opening rain-swept scene, in which a distraught woman, Ann (Huppert), follows her longtime b.f. Thomas (writer-director Xavier Beauvois) to his mistress’ house, actress and camera coexist in urgent lockstep. Ann’s refusal to process her lover’s betrayal radically disconnects her from any sense of continuum, her jerky, determined movements mirrored by disruptive closeups, and gaps in time and space open up between scenes as every action fades to black.
Ann discards all vestiges of her successful career as a composer/pianist — walking out in the middle of a concert, burning her sheet music and celebrated CDs. She sells her austerely luxurious Paris apartment and disposes of everything in it, turns off her phone, closes out her accounts and disappears, the camera recording every painstaking phase of the unexpectedly hard work involved. The only link she retains to her past is a long-lost childhood friend (Jean-Hugues Anglade), whom she unexpectedly runs into on the night she discovers her b.f.’s infidelity.
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