Va Savoir

Va Savoir


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Two-and-a-half hours of dysfunctional emotion may be exhilarating to those who don't get out much. For everyone else, they are excruciatingly boring. Jacques Rivette's menage-a-quatre tests the survival skills of art cinema aficionados.

Camille (Jeanne Balibar) is an actress, who used to live with Pierre (Jacques Bonnaffe), a philosophy professor. Now she's touring Pirandello with her present lover, actor/manager Ugo (Sergio Castellitto). Pierre is married to Sonia (Marienne Basler), a ballet teacher, and Ugo meets Dominique (Helene de Fourgelles), during his search for an unpublished manuscript by Goldoni. Dominique may be having an incestuous fling with her half brother (Bruno Todeschini), who could be starting an affair with Sonia.

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When the theatre company is playing to half-filled houses in Paris, Camille looks up Pierre. Feelings are rekindled. Meanwhile, Ugo and Dominique are becoming mutually attracted. Nothing happens, except Sonia's ring is stolen and Camille's two admirers have a drinking duel.

Only the French could take so long exposing the quixotic nature of women's feelings. The men are relatively straightforward. They know what they are doing, even when it's wrong. Camille fluctuates between wanting Pierre and Ugo. Sonia swivels between her husband and her lover. Dominique changes her mind, depending on the time of day. It could be farce, if Rivette wasn't so serious.

The English translation is Who Knows? It is an apt description.

Reviewed on: 25 Oct 2001
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Emotional confusion among touring actors, a philosopher and a student in Paris.
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Director: Jacques Rivette

Writer: Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent, Jacques Rivette

Starring: Jeanne Balibar, Sergio Castellitto, Marianne Basler, Jacques Bonnaffe, Helene de Fourgelles, Bruno Todeschini

Year: 2001

Runtime: 154 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: France/Italy/Germany


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