‘Unforgivable’ a bizarre, enigmatic drama about paranoia
Directed by André Téchiné
Written by André Téchiné and Mehdi Ben Attia
There have certainly been worse cases of writer’s block, but the main character in the new French film Unforgivable really lets his spin out of control. Unforgivable, from co-writer and director André Téchiné, tells an almost Hitchcockian story of how paranoia can drive people to ridiculous lengths. Téchiné’s unique decision to let the script itself not be so single-minded is both a breath of fresh air and a bit of a detriment to the film’s overall impact.
André Dussolier plays Francis, a bestselling crime novelist who just can’t find the inspiration to push him forward in the writing process. Unable to focus in his homeland of France, Francis decides to move to Venice to re-commit to his latest work of fiction. While finding a place to stay, he becomes enamored with his real estate agent, Judith (Carole Bouquet); after she shows him a house on the isolated island of Sant’Erasmo, he convinces her that the only way he’ll buy it is if she moves in with him. As inexplicable as the offer is, they’re soon married and living happily in their idyllic home. Eighteen months later, however, after his willful daughter and single mother Alice (Mélanie Thierry) leaves her child with Francis and Judith, then disappears, Francis becomes so concerned for her safety and determined to find her that he threatens to destroy all of his relationships.