LES FANTOMES D’ISMAËL / ISMAEL’S GHOSTS

Arnaud Desplechin reunites with his faithful collaborator, the inim-
itable actor Mathieu Amalric, to offer another structurally daring,
emotionally intense, and hugely enjoyable portrait of a brilliant dandy
on the verge of madness. This time Amalric plays Ismael Vuillard, an
accomplished filmmaker who has lived for twenty years in the shadow
of the disappearance of his young wife Carlotta. One day, while Ismael
is working in his seaside house, his girlfriend Sylvie is approached by
a beautiful woman on the beach: she announces that she is Carlotta
and that she has returned to reclaim her husband. Ismael’s life soon
begins to fall apart. Desplechin contrasts this psychological drama
with scenes from the film Ismael is in the process of writing, an espio-
nage thriller set in Tajikistan and the Czech Republic and based on the
life of his own brother Ivan. The result is a dizzying self-portrait of the
filmmaker, a meditation on the creative process, laced with references
to cinema and literature, but primarily an infectiously energetic enter-
tainment. Contrary to what its title may suggest, Ismael’s Ghosts is a
film resolutely engaged with the present, featuring vivid performance
by some of French cinema’s greatest stars.

DIRECTOR
Arnaud Desplechin

SCREENPLAY
Julie Peyr
Léa Mysius

CAST
Mathieu Amalric
Marion Cotillard
Charlotte Gainsbourg

DETAILS
Drama
French
135 min.
France, 2017
DCP, Blu-Ray

DISTRIBUTOR
Magnolia Pictures

PRICE RANGE
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