fascinating study of a relationship
where cracks are starting to show, and
determination to help a young
woman facing the threat of deportation
from France. Looking For Hortense
is deep and serious yet sprinkled with
a light-heartedness that belies the
AN UNUSUAL FILM WITH A BRILLIANT DIALOGUE, sympathetic cast and a scattering
of humour, Looking For Hortense (Cherchez Hortense) explores the disparate
lives of Asian and Chinese Civilisation professor Damien Hauer (a very convincing
performance by Jean-Pierre Bacri: Look At Me) and his long-term partner,
theatre director Iva (a fine character portrayal by Kristin Scott Thomas: The
English Patient; Sarah's Key).
Living in Paris with their difficult son Noé (a suitably sulky Marin Orcand
Tourrès), whom one suspects does not have a great deal of attention or guidance,
Damien and Iva no longer love each other and have drifted apart. They are merely
going through the motions of togetherness.
but always excellent film
with a credible cast,
Looking For Hortense
exposes the lives
of two successful people
is disintegrating and
who find comfort
the arrival of Iva's brother Marco (Francis Leplay) and his girlfriend Vera
(Iliana Lolic), the cracks in their relationship widen. Iva demands that Damien
asks his father Sébastien (Claude Rich), a senior member of the Council of State
with influential friends, to help prevent a young woman they know from being
Zorica Velicovic (Isabelle Carre: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not) is a
Croatian Serb on her father's side and Montenegrin on her mother's side and
on her divorce she was served with an Expulsion Notice. She is desperate to
stay in France.
Damien is faced with an impossible task. He despises and barely communicates
with his father and would never ask a favour of him, but to appease Iva he gives
her the impression that he has done so.
Iva is becoming involved with one of her actors, Antoine (Arthur Igual) and
when Damien meets Aurore, a young woman who takes an interest in his knowledge
of China, in a bookshop, he finds himself attracted to her. Finally Damien feels
able to approach his self-centred father to speak to his friend Henri Hortense
(Philippe Duclos), whom he hopes will be able to help Zorica but
it was never going to be that easy.
An intelligent, sometimes sad, sometimes amusing but always excellent film with
a credible cast, Looking For Hortense exposes the lives of two successful peo
ple whose relationship is disintegrating and who find comfort in others.
Looking For Hortense also features: Agathe Bonitzer as Laetitia; Masahiro
Kashiyagi as Satoshi; Jackie Berroyer as Lobatch; Jérôme Boujour as Campuche;
and Joséphine Derenne as Blandine Hauer.
The beautiful Music is by Alexei Aigui; Script by Agnès de Sacy and Pascal Bonitzer;
Produced by Sato Ben Sato; Directed by Pascal Bonitzer. *Looking
For Hortense is released in the UK by Arrow Films on DVD on 2 December 2013.
Running Time: 96 Minutes | Catalogue Number: FCD828 | RRP: £19.99.
"An intelligent, sometimes sad, sometimes amusing but always excellent film
with a credible cast, Looking For Hortense exposes the lives of two successful
people whose relationship is disintegrating and who find comfort in others"
"Bittersweet, delicately handled French drama" Daily Express