As the title explains it, this is a story about love. France, after the second world war; a young woman called Gabrielle (Marion Cotillard) is stucked in her hometown. Misunderstood by her family, struggling against her repressed sexuality and her insanity, Gabrielle feels alone. In hope to make her sane, her mother forces her to marry Jose (Alex Brendemühl) a Spanish worker at their fields. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Gabrielle yearns for a true love story. After being diagnosed with kidney stones, she’s taken to a hospital facility in Switzerland where she will find the long awaited love story, falling in love with a war veteran called Andree (Louis Garrel).
At first glance the film seems to have it all, great actors, incredible locations, good camera work and a perfect almost in the shadows (low key) lighting. But despite all of those things the story is so poorly developed that it makes the marvelous performance by Marion Cotillard go to waste. The topic of the film has already been told, and Nicole Garcia fails to find a new and deeper way to tell this story. Lacking a major conflict, the movie is filled with little conflicts that solve themselves from one scene to the next, leaving us with a series of events that end up seeming absurd. At the end, maybe in order to compensate the absent conflict, the story has an unexpected plot twist that fails to fill the void and borders on the ridiculous.
30. Filmfest Braunschweig, Sektion: Neues Internationales Kino-Exklusiv
Mal de Pierres, Frankreich 2016
Regie: Nicole Garcia
Kamera: Christophe Beaucarne
Darsteller: Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel, Alex Brendemühl
Verleih: StudioCanal Deutschland