The Promised Life | Chicago Reader

The Promised Life

Isabelle Huppert, typecast to perfection as a brittle street whore, easily dominates this sketchy 2002 French drama by writer-director Olivier Dahan. She's found by the illegitimate 14-year-old daughter she'd abandoned (Maud Forget), who moves into her apartment, and when a pair of thugs arrives to beat up the mother, the girl knifes one of them. Mother and daughter hit the road, eventually hooking up with a debonair car thief (Pascal Greggory) and heading for the countryside to confront the mother's buried past. Groping for a theme, Dahan begins and ends with floral imagery; of course Huppert's appeal lies in her tightly closed petals. In French with subtitles. 94 min.

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