Les Destinees

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Les Destinees ★★½ Les Destinees Sentimentales; Sentimental Destinies 2000

Lavish, sprawling, but emotionally flat costume drama follows forty years in the life of Jean Barnery. Jean, a Protestant minister,finds that his wife, Nathalie, has been unfaithful and sends her, along with their daughter Aline away. After he meets, and falls in love with the independent Pauline, his estranged wife, World War I, the call to return to his family's porcelain business, and the Wall Street crash impose themselves into Jean and Pauline's life. Film is technically and visually impressive, but a lack of any real spark (except when Huppert is onscreen) and the film's length combine to blunt its impact. Based on the novel by Jacques Chardonne. 174m/C VHS, DVD . FR SI Charles Berling, Emmanuelle Beart, Isabelle Huppert, Olivier Perrier, Dominique Reymond, Andre Marcon, Alexandra London, Julie Depardieu; D: Olivier Assayas; W: Olivier Assayas, Jacques Fieschi; C: Eric Gautier; M: Guillaume Lekeu.