Both Sides of the Blade (2022) – Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy

Kasarmikatu 46-48, 00130 Helsinki
Savoy Theatre

No one starts with a clean slate in adulthood. How you deal with this reality says a lot about who you are: how do you make sense of the narrative of your life, how do you fit your own past into your present story? This is the central tension of Claire Denis’ emotionally volatile and unpredictable Both Sides of the Blade, with Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon giving two tremendous performances as a contented couple whose lives are exploded by a chance encounter in the street, by the past strolling back into the present, re-asserting its primacy with no warning. The past is the ultimate party-crasher.

Sheila O’Malley,

Jean, struggling to find work because of his prison record, ends up employed by Sara’s ex-boyfriend – an arrangement that begins to sow discord in Sara and Jean’s marriage. Denis co-wrote the film with the French novelist Christine Angot. Their prior collaboration was the acidic romantic comedy Let the Sunshine In, but this is heavier material. Binoche plays Sara as almost unaware of her own wavering feelings for Jean; she’s lying both to the audience and herself, and her slow disintegration is spellbinding.

David Sims, The Atlantic

Theme: French Touch Selection
Country: France
Director: Claire Denis
Screenplay: Christine Angot, Claire Denis
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Grégoire Colin, Vincent Lindon, Mati Diop
Production: Olivier Delbosc, James Benjamin Shannon / Curiosa Films, Canal+, Ciné+
Duration: 116 min
Age limit: K12

Orig. title: Avec amour et acharnement
Language: French
Subtitles: English
Distribution: Wild Bunch
Cinematography: Eric Gautier
Editing: Sandie Bompar, Guy Lecorne, Emmanuelle Pencalet
Music: Stuart Staples, Tindersticks
Sound: Olivier Walczak, Jean-Paul Mugel
Production design: Arnaud de Moleron
Costume design: Judy Shrewsbury
Make-up: Céline Planchenault