Two Lives Plus One

A rich, textured performance by Emmanuelle Devos (Read My Lips, Kings & Queen) elevates this otherwise unremarkable feminist drama (2007), the writing and directing debut of French actress Idit Cebula. Devos plays a bright and imaginative Parisian nearing middle age who juggles two lives: one as a primary school teacher, with all its stresses and frustrations, and a second life as a homemaker responding to the beck and call of her nagging mother, self-involved husband, and headstrong teenage daughter. The “plus one” refers to her creative life as a writer, which she assembles from scraps, even hiding in a closet at one point to escape her family's demands. When a small publisher takes an interest in her journals, Devos rebels against both work and family, greedy for the fulfillment she's denied herself over the past 20 years. In French with subtitles. 86 min.

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