Writer-director Christophe Honoré revisits the musical—the genre of his charming hit Love Songs (2007)—in Beloved, an intricate weaving of multiple romantic triangles and world-changing milestones. Era-spanning (the film opens in 1963 and closes in 2007) and globe-hopping (scenes take place in Paris, Prague, London, and Montreal), the ambitious Beloved touches on several historical events during those forty-plus years, including the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the AIDS pandemic, and September 11. At its core, though, the film boils down to the love lives of two women: Madeleine (played in her youth by Love Songs alumna Ludivine Sagnier and in her prime by Catherine Deneuve) and her daughter, Vera (Honoré regular Chiara Mastroianni, Deneuve’s real-life offspring). Each woman grapples with fidelity, commitment, and desire in ways that are achingly human and instantly recognizable. In the tradition of cinema’s greatest romantics, Honoré has written lyrics that poignantly express love’s thorniest complications: “I can live without you / But what kills me is that I can’t live without loving you.”

“Beloved cuts deep. Romances in contemporary French cinema are sometimes so tormented, so full of passionately whispered sweet nothings and ferocious copulation that they feel like navel-gazing self-parodies. Honoré, on the other hand, makes love—particularly the unrequited kind—seem like the most universal, sorrowful condition of all.”
Jon Frosch, The Atlantic

Christophe Honoré

Christophe Honoré

Véra Passer: Chiara Mastroianni
Madeleine: Catherine Deneuve
Madeleine jeune: Ludivine Sagnier
Clément: Louis Garrel

LANGUAGE French, Czech, English
PRODUCTION France, UK, Czech Republic, 2011
RATING Not Rated
FORMAT(S) 35, Blu-ray, DCP, DVD

IFC Films