Other people’s children
Tuesday April 11 at 10:40 p.m. on Canal+
The question of the feminine is at the heart of Rebecca Zlotowski’s films, always with the same desire to deconstruct the stereotypes associated with it. It is that of the mother-in-law that she is attacking this time. A “blind spot” of cinematographic representation that resonated with her own situation as a mother-in-law, without being a mother herself.
A French teacher who loves her job and a fulfilled forty-something, Rachel (Virginie Efira) falls in love with Ali (Roschdy Zem). The promise of a beautiful story and perhaps the opportunity to have this child she has given up on until now. But time is running out and his companion already has a 4 and a half year old daughter, Leila, whom he takes care of a lot and who represents the non-negotiable part of his life. Rachel will have to find her place without sacrificing her romantic relationship, nor her own desire for motherhood. Prudently, she will seek to forge links with the little girl by avoiding replacing her mother, Alice (Chiara Mastroianni). A complex relationship made up of moments of great complicity, but also violent rebuffs.
How to position oneself when the child already has a mother? What is the nature of the bonds that we establish with him, and what happens if the romantic relationship ends? These are all questions that the filmmaker addresses head-on but with great sensitivity.
The melodrama is constantly tempered by the great sweetness that emanates from it. It’s never about pain or guilt with Rachel, just life as it goes and missed opportunities. No need for cries or scenes of jealousy to understand the feelings that his main character is going through.
In a very fluid staging, the director has the art of handling comedy and drama, lightness and gravity, for this very beautiful portrait of a woman to which Virginie Efira brings all her freshness and simplicity.