Tuesday 15 October 2019

Memoir of War review: 'Melanie Thierry’s portrayal of the alternately tender and ruthless writer is fascinating'

3 stars

Memoir of War
Memoir of War
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

In 1985, the great French writer Marguerite Duras published a book called Douleur.

It was inspired by her wartime experiences, and based on diaries she’d kept, but she did her best to blur the line between reality and fiction.

That book, and this film, describe her involvement in the Resistance, and the terrible agonies she endured waiting for news of her husband, Robert, who’d been arrested and would end up in Dachau.

Melanie Thierry plays Duras, a hard-headed young writer who enters a dangerous dance with a collaborating French policeman (Benoit Magimel) who clearly has a thing for her.

Inevitably, the novel’s subtleties are lost in translation, and Emmanuel Finkiel’s film drags at times, but Ms. Thierry’s portrayal of the alternately tender and ruthless writer is fascinating.

(No Cert, IFI, 126mins)

Also releasing this week:

Rocketman review: 'Extraordinarily good, and gives us Elton John in his magnificent prime'

 

Aladdin review: 'This Aladdin remake is fine, but I’m not sure I see the point of it'

 

Secret Life of Pets 2 review: 'Isn’t quite as funny as the first, but the animation’s lovely'

Irish Independent

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