The rare case of a remake that far surpasses the original, this sublime mature work by François Ozon borrows liberally from Ernst Lubitsch's Broken Lullaby (1932) but supplants its fevered melodrama with erotically charged mystery. An elderly, provincial German couple (Ernst Stotzner, Marie Gruber), grieving for the son they lost in World War I, have taken in his fiancee (Paula Beer); visiting the son's grave, the young woman meets a fragile veteran (Pierre Niney) who claims to have known the deceased, and brings him home to the parents, whom he comforts with his reminisces. Budgetary constraints forced Ozon to shoot in black and white, yet the seductive 35-millimeter imagery gains in potency from the brief color sequences used to reconstruct an elusive past. In German and French with subtitles.
Director: François Ozon
Producer: Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer, Stefan Arndt and Uwe Schott
Cast: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber, Johann Bülow, Anton von Lucke, Cyrielle Clair and Alice Lencquesaing