DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

STORY OF A LOVE STORY (aka: IMPOSSIBLE OBJECT) (director: John Frankenheimer; screenwriter: novel Impossible Object by Nicolas Mosley/Nicolas Mosley; cinematographer: Claude Renoir; editor: Albert Jurgenson; music: Michel Legrand; cast: Alan Bates (Harry),  Dominique Sanda (Natalie), Evans Evans (Elizabeth), Lea Massari (Woman), Michel Auclair (Georges), Laurence de Monagham (Cleo); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jud Kinberg; EIA; 1973-France / Italy-in English and some French)
 
"The imaginative premise has some potential, but the up-in-the-air resolution left me unsatisfied."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

John Frankenheimer ("The Train"/"Seven Days in May"/"Call Harry Crown") directs this romantic drama that received only a limited release in Spain and Paris, and was never released in theaters in the States. It's Frankenheimer's least recognized film. There are many well-photographed art fantasy dream sequences, applicable pathos and a well-placed droll humor. It was filmed in Paris as an experimental New Wave film.

The film, adapted from the novel Impossible Object by Nicolas Mosley, is about the English writer Harry (Alan Bates), happily living in a country home in France with his American wife Elizabeth (Evans Evans, Frankenheimer's then wife), and their three sons, The writer loses track of what's happening and can't determine what's part of his latest novel or real life. Harry is confused if he is really having an extra-marital affair with the beautiful but married Natalie (Dominique Sanda), whose husband (Michel Auclair) suspects she's unfaithful. But we are never really sure if it's just Harry's imagination. In any case, it all leads to tragic results.

The imaginative premise has some potential, but the up-in-the-air resolution left me unsatisfied. Nevertheless Bates shines in this curious role, who somehow makes his lost romantic character both sympathetic and believable.

I would recommend this off-beat obscure film not because of its achievement, but for its uniqueness and attempt to make art for it's own sake.

REVIEWED ON 12/28/2014       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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