Raul Ruiz's adaptation of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past
can't be regarded even remotely as an adequate substitute for the original, even though the director sensibly concentrates on the last of its seven parts. But this 1999 film is still a lot more imaginative and entertaining than one might have thought possible. Ruiz ingeniously tries to convey the transports of Proust's labyrinthine sentences through camera movement and the displacement of characters and scenery, almost as if he were constructing a theme-park ride. The result isn't as emotionally potent as one might have wished, but it's never boring, and its very inadequacy and occasional obscurity are part of its charm. Ruiz and Gilles Taurand wrote the script. With Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart, Vincent Perez, Pascal Greggory, Marie-France Pisier, Chiara Mastroianni, Marcello Mazzarella as Proust, and John Malkovich as the eccentric gay artistocrat Charlus. In French with subtitles. 165 min.