March 3, 2008
Let's Dance, 2007
Noémie Lvovsky returns to the idiosyncratic, subtly modulated multigenerational human comedy of Les Sentiments with a more diluted, but still insightfully rendered examination of aging, identity, and the changing role between parent and child in Let's Dance (Fait que ça danse!). Lvovsky's affectionate portrait centers on the sprightly, Holocaust survivor Salomon Bellinsky (Jean-Pierre Marielle) who, as he nears his eightieth birthday, has been spending his days dodging funeral obligations of friends and fellow survivors, taking tap dancing lessons to emulate his favorite actor, Fred Astaire, arguing with insurance agents who are quick to reject his application on the sole basis of age, and paying cordial visits to his willfully independent, estranged wife Geneviève (Bulle Ogier) who has been reduced to increasing financial straits after struggling with the effects of Alzheimer's disease for years, attended to her devoted caregiver, Mootoosamy (Bakary Sangaré). Faced with the reality that his wife is now a virtual stranger in the final stages of her degenerative illness, and relegated to obligatory, quick checkup visits from his preoccupied daughter, Sarah (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), Salomon turns to the personal ads to find companionship and meets the charming, if insecure Violette (Sabine Azéma), where soon, his own fears of an uncertain future begin to take their toll on his relationships with the people around him. As in Les Sentiments, Lvovsky frames the parallel lives among the disparate generations as emotional intersections that reveal the fundamental human desire to remain vital, useful, and relevant.