Joachim LafosseFrance / Belgium98 minutes2016ColourFrench
Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) and Cédric Kahn star in the new film from Joachim Lafosse (The White Knights), about a separating couple whose battle over their stylish apartment reveals the complexities of their relationship and the depth of the rifts between them.
After 15 years together, Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and Boris (Cédric Kahn) are calling it quits, but until they can resolve the details of their separation agreement — most notably the division of their prize asset, the magazine-photo-worthy apartment they share with their young twin daughters — they're still living together. The latest feature from acclaimed Belgian director Joachim Lafosse is about the ties that bind us after love has gone.
Marie is the breadwinner in the relationship, but it was her family's wealth, not her salary, that allowed the couple to purchase their stylish apartment. This is a fact that Boris, a contractor currently between jobs, never lets her forget, since it was his renovation work that added significant value to the property. As Marie and Boris argue over everything — finances, who's taking the girls to soccer, and even passing the cheese plate at dinner — After Love reveals the complexities of their relationship and the depth of the cracks in it.
Lafosse deftly avoids taking sides in this absorbing family drama, inviting the audience to see that both parties are right, and both are wrong. Relentlessly observant of his characters' daily routines and oscillating emotions, Lafosse uses his trademark confined setting and tightly controlled handheld photography to create a claustrophobic environment, enveloping us in the gathering storm that is this couple's relationship. With outstanding, genuine performances from Bejo and Kahn, the subtle and powerful After Love reminds us that sometimes, no matter how much beauty is to be found in our immediate surroundings, we just need to get out.