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Year: 2005
USA: IFC First Take
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Pascal Greggory, Claudia Coli, Thierry Hancisse, Chantal Neuwirth, Thierry Fortineau, Louise Vincent, Clement Hervieu-Leger, Nicolas Moreau, Rinaldo Rocco, Xavier Lafitte, Maļ David, Jeanne Herry, Aude Leger, Raina Kabaivanska
Director: Patrice Chereau
Country: Germany / France / Italy
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA: 90 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains moderate sex and nudity
USA Release Date: 14 July 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 17 November 2006
UK Distributor


A house where people like to come. Long evenings spent listening, watching, laughing, saying one thing and then the other. That's the advantage of a circle of habitues: everybody knows everybody. Outbursts of honesty, extremes of secrecy, moments of doubt and founded or unfounded joy... It's all there, to the guests' delight and that of the master and mistress of the house, whose lives are a never-ending tale of success envied by others.

Suddenly, the smooth-running clock tells the wrong time. One day, someone leaves and is late returning. When the bell chimes at last, the world has drastically changed. One day, brought together in the house, a man and woman see each other as they really are for the first time. One wanted this, the other didn't. One wants to talk, the other doesn't. It's hard living in the same house when you don't want the same things.

Starring Pascal Greggory and Isabelle Huppert as Jean and Gabrielle Hervey, a wealthy Parisian couple but his life starts to disintegrate when his wife leaves a letter on the sideboard in their home for him and shatters any stability they once had.

From the director Patrice Chereau

"I was looking for a subject for a film without really looking. It was a period of voracious reading. I came across a collection of Joseph Conrad's short stories that had just been published by Gallimard. When I came to the one entitled The Return, in June 2003, it briefly crossed my mind that this would make a good film, but you can't constantly read with a view to turning what you're reading into a script, so I pressed on with the rest of the book and forgot the idea. It wasn't until December 2003 that I read the short story again, and I was totally thrown. Thrown by the description of a man who is so terribly lost, thrown by his disappearance at the end, by the enigma of the female character, by the few words she utters, by her return, by her indomitable strength and by a single line: "Had I known you loved me, I'd never have come back."

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