Love, sex, how does alchemy work? Touched by Annie Ernaux’s novel in which she says she recognized herself, the filmmaker recounts the ecstasy and the expectation in Simple passion which comes out Wednesday August 11. Selected out of competition at the last Cannes Film Festival, a study of feelings where sex is gradually supplanted by the heart.
In her forties, single and independent mother, professor of literature at La Sorbonne, Hélène only lives for Alexandre, who works at the Russian consulate in Paris, married with a child. They only see each other to sleep together, regularly, without further exchanges. His passion invades Hélène, who lives only to the rhythm of the comings and goings of her lover, going so far as to lose her footing with those around her.
If the sex scenes are abundant in the film, Danielle Arbid films the passion of the body without eroticizing, but by translating the strength of the emotions. A carnal, paradoxical feeling invades Hélène and becomes indispensable. Addiction ? If sex is the first impulse, it transforms, overflows, submerges the being, to the point of obsession with a man of whom Hélène knows almost nothing.
Danielle Arbid films Helene’s point of view, and reveals almost nothing of this fagot, covered in tattoos like a Russian mafia, whose mystery is undoubtedly part of his passion. The little that she will extort from her life will take her to Moscow “to breathe the air he breathes“. Alexander’s feelings for him seem subordinate, but he will prove to be hard in the heart too.
Nothing shameless in this repetitive representation of bodies and their antics. It is even necessary to express the obsessive nature of an inner life that has become addictive. Simple passion results in a beautiful portrait of a woman, taken at a crossroads in her life, interpreted by invested actors and a filmmaker moved by her subject.
Kind : Sentimental drama
Director : Danielle Arbid
Actors : Laetitia Dosch, Sergei Polunin, Lou-Teymour Thion
Country : Lebanon / France / Belgium
Duration : 1h40
Exit : August 11, 2021
Distributer : Pyramid Distribution
Warning: scenes, words or images may offend the sensitivity of the spectators.
Synopsis : “From September last year, I did nothing more than wait for a man: to call me and come to my house. Everything about him was precious to me, her eyes, her mouth, her sex, her childhood memories, her voice … “