“Changing Times”

Changing Times

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
September 14, 2006

On the surface, Changing Times is a love story about a couple that is reunited after decades apart. But unlike many films so desperate for a happy ending that the characters’ development are sacrificed to reach such a goal, this picture concentrates on the bittersweet reality of who they are today. Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu reunite (for the first time since 1988’s Strange Place for an Encounter) to portray Cecile, a radio hostess living in Morocco, and Antoine, an engineer who finds a project in Tangier in the hopes that he can find her and win her back.

Their lives are now more complicated than when they first met. She is married to a Moroccan doctor who is unfaithful to her. And Antoine doesn’t seem able to relinquish the memories of the Cecile he fell in love with, regardless of the fact that the woman standing before him today may actually be more compelling. The expressive actors take their time, revealing as much with their faces as their words.

Directed and co-written by Andre Techine, Changing Times has a languid, exotic, and authentic feel. The one flaw is the inclusion of another subplot–that of Cecile’s adult, bisexual son who hopes to rekindle a relationship with the love of his life–an ex-boyfriend.

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