This is the chronicle of a passing year, from the moment that Gabriel and Jenny separate (despite their mutual affection) to the blossoming of new love between Gabriel and Anne (despite their fears and uncertainty). And it is also the chronicle of the death Gabriel's closest friend, Adrien Willer, overtaken by an old illness and suddenly faced with an untimely end to his existence. But Adrien is not alone, because his personal tragedy is shared by his entourage, resonating among a vibrant network of love and friendship that is transformed by the approch of death.
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What I like about Olivier's film is the idea that there's no moral. Gabriel feeds off death, feeds off the end of a love affair, and feeds off his difficulties with a cynicism that I hope we all have. Not a power-seeking cynicism, but a self-building cynicism, which may meaning running roughshod over others. Do you really love other people? That's the question raised by the film. Gabriel seems to admit his love for Anne once she has left, and he humbles himself by going to see the guy who is her lover. You get the impression he loves Anne because she's no longer there, he loves Adrien because he's dead. But his relationship to Adrien's oeuvre is sincere.
I love the scene where the boy tells him how important a writer Adrien was, now he's dead, and Gabriel replies that he thinks Adrien's best book was still to come. That's a true expression of love - Adrien was still at work. And that's something present in Olivier, you only have to see him walking down the street to realize he's someone who believes in development, movement, changes of mind, the process of getting somewhere. In that way the film resembles him a great deal - it's a mature film, a hymn to life.
(Mathieu Amalric - Actor)