Charles Berling, Emmanuelle Béart, Isabelle Huppert
In French; widescreen; English subtitles; audio commentary; cast and crew filmographies; theatrical trailer.
|Olivier Assayas, the French director who toyed with cool lives in modern milieus with his best-known films "Irma Vep" and "Late August, Early September," took on an unlikely project with the sprawling period drama "Les Destinées." He had the sense to cast three of France's most acclaimed actors Charles Berling ("Ridicule"), Emmanuelle Béart ("Mission Impossible") and Isabelle Huppert ("The Piano Teacher") in major roles, and they come through. The settings, mostly small-town France and rural Switzerland in the early part of the 20th century, are postcard pretty. But the story of Jean (Berling), a man who dumps his wife (Huppert) on the basis of a rumor about her infidelity, then tumbles for a stunning younger woman (Béart), is done in such a restrained fashion, as befits the polite society of the day, that it drags over the course of the three-hour film. There's Jean's domestic plight, his estranged daughter, his fight to save the family business, World War I... It's an ordeal.|