Small Cuts | Chicago Reader

Small Cuts

Daniel Auteuil stars as Paul, a dyspeptic journalist and halfhearted communist with an unraveling marriage. When his disgruntled wife takes a trip to Lyon to see her mother, Paul and his mistress drive to see his uncle, the communist mayor of a town near Grenoble, who is suicidal over his wife's infidelity and the prospect of losing an upcoming election. A gifted scenarist and frequent collaborator with Jacques Rivette (Va savoir, Secret Defense), director Pascal Bonitzer imbues his script (cowritten with Emmanuel Salinger) with a pungent misanthropy, tormenting his protagonist with one last, slim chance at happiness in the form of Kristin Scott Thomas, the neurotic and vulnerable wife of one of his uncle's political rivals. But this relationship, like all the others in this curdled story, is ultimately doomed. In French with subtitles. 91 min.

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