Daniel is crippled by his intensity of emotion. Sonia can't bear to get too close. The couple, played by Romain Duris and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Patrice Chéreau's Persécution, were made to tear each other apart.
Chéreau, who directed Intimacy (2001) and Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1998), here presents a harrowing portrait of codependence that's reminiscent of Mike Leigh's 1993 masterpiece Naked in its lanky, loquacious, underachieving and intensely abrasive antihero.
The characters' self-indulgence can be hard to take, but the web of relationships on display feels unusually genuine in their messy, organic uncertainty. Persécution screens Wednesday 10/21 at 8:30 PM at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois. $12.