FRANKIE (98)
starts 12/14/2019

FRANKIE

SUMMARYBUY TICKETS

Three generations grappling with a life-changing experience during one day of a vacation in Sintra, Portugal, a historic town known for its dense gardens and fairy-tale villas and palaces.

Director: Ira Sachs
Writers: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson

REVIEW

Filmed in Sintra (Portugal), with actors of various nationalities at a castingLuxury (Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei, Pascal Gregory, Jérémie Renier, Greg Kinnear …), the new realization of Ira Sachs confirms this American filmmaker as an exceptional analyst of human relations and the emotional subtexts that feed them . The pretext that starts on this occasion is the family reunion convened, in a Sintra hotel, by an already veteran actress (Huppert), who has a few months to live because of the cancer she suffers. Her husband, her ex-partner (now homosexual), her unmarried son, her daughter and her husband (in the process of divorcing), her granddaughter and a friend from the film profession, accompanied by her boyfriend, converge in a meeting that unleashes, in mute , the underground tensions that each of these characters experience in their respective lives. Against what it might seem, It is not the typical and familiar family catharsis caused by the proximity of a lucrative event. There is no settling of accounts and hardly any secrets to reveal. The structure of the story, debtor of a theatrical expressly sought in the dialogues and in the arrangement of the sequences by Sachs and by his usual screenwriter (Mauricio Zacharias), does not seek to untie any knot of the past tense, but rather to look for the small epiphanies that deserve characters, to each and every one of whom the authors – generous and lucid – grant an opportunity for discovery, readjustment, reconsideration or learning, without the slightest hint of moralism and without any redemptive eagerness. There is no settling of accounts and hardly any secrets to reveal. The structure of the story, debtor of a theatrical expressly sought in the dialogues and in the arrangement of the sequences by Sachs and by his usual screenwriter (Mauricio Zacharias), does not seek to untie any knot of the past tense, but rather to look for the small epiphanies that deserve characters, to each and every one of whom the authors – generous and lucid – grant an opportunity for discovery, readjustment, reconsideration or learning, without the slightest hint of moralism and without any redemptive eagerness. There is no settling of accounts and hardly any secrets to reveal. The structure of the story, debtor of a theatrical expressly sought in the dialogues and in the arrangement of the sequences by Sachs and by his usual screenwriter (Mauricio Zacharias), does not seek to untie any knot of the past tense, but rather to look for the small epiphanies that deserve characters, to each and every one of whom the authors – generous and lucid – grant an opportunity for discovery, readjustment, reconsideration or learning, without the slightest hint of moralism and without any redemptive eagerness.

Radically stripped of every funerary or complaining rictus, Frankie is a work of vital celebration, of maturity and serenity: a film that is not afraid to open to comedy records without ever betraying the depth of emotions that circulate under each of its planes. Everything is played here in the truth of each moment, everything happens inside the plane and the situation, which gives each scene a subliminal tension that Isabelle Huppert says she has not experienced before since working with Jean-Luc Godard in Sauve qui peut (la vie) and in Passion. Not by chance, Ira Sachs confesses to having studied, together with her cinematographer (Rui Poças, the usual operator of Miguel Gomes, whose company, O Som ea Fúria, co-produces the film), the summer films of Éric Rohmer (essentially, Le Genou de Claire and Pauline on the beach ) to never cut a plane until the characters have completely left the picture, which allows the actors to ‘fully live’ before the camera the intensity that emerges in the long shots that star in the greatest part of the plans. A memorable outcome and a final plan for the anthologies, which harmonically and excitingly combines Rohmer and Kiarostami, closes an immense film that Kelly Reichardt might like very much. Carlos F. Heir

In Yasujiro Ozu’s latest films such as The Taste of Sake or The Fall of the Kohayagawa Family , individual conflicts over the different stages of life become collective conflicts. There is like a future of different characters that are drawing circles around multiple vital moments, as if they were choreographies of the end. Frankie,Ira Sachs has much of the last Ozu, but there is also a Txekhovian heritage that flows from a series of stories about something that is born and something that dies. We are in Sintra – Portugal – a recognized mature actress – Isabelle Huppert – has decided to take a long vacation, something is ending in her life. She has had recognitions, has worked in France and England, has separated from her first husband, has had a son who is going through a moment of transit, has found a lover and hides some secret. Other characters arrive in Sintra, such as a costume specialist who is accompanied by an alleged suitor who has met working on a new Star Wars chapteror some young people who discover their first love. Ira Sachs brings together all the heterogeneous characters as if they were guinea pigs of a sentimental game and makes them wander through the beautiful landscape of Sintra as if they were all accidental tourists who have turned their lives into a real play. Ira Sachs draws all his dramaturgy from duets between characters, choppy conversations that reveal something hidden. Progressively arise the ‘elective affinities’ and emotional breakdowns. Each encounter hides some feelings. Everything flows with an absolutely admirable delicacy. As the film progresses we see that the sentimental landscape that Ira Sachs draws is nothing more than an x-ray of many hypothetical landscapes. On the horizon is the pain of a near death, there is the discovery of life from love, We witness some sentimental break that has been irreversible, we find characters who have discovered themselves and have traced new paths. On the other hand, for others everything appears as if it were a mystery with no possible solution. In some moments Ira Sachs gives way to the best Eric Rohmer cinema as ifFrankie was nothing more than a dazzling ‘summer tale’. Duets between actors in front of the Sintra tiles also pay a hidden tribute to Manoel de Oliveira. Meanwhile, the impressive final shot of the film, shot in Penhinha – the most northern place in continental Europe – ends up acquiring all the majesty of the best cinema of Abbas Kiarostami. This whole game of multiple references might seem like a simple postmodern game of tributes to a film model to which Ira Sachs evokes her feeling. Frankie’s greatnessIt resides in that it is not orthopedic and is not a simple amalgam of appointments. Ozu, Chékhov, Rohmer, Oliveira and Kiarostami are there to remind us that great dramas are nothing more than a simple act of nobility based on the imitation of life. A marvel. – Angel Quintana, Caiman Cuadernos De Cine