In the Name of My Daughter (Cohen Media Group, R)

In-the-Name-of-My-DaughterEven though all this probably sounds a lot more exciting to read than it was to watch, In the Name of My Daughter nevertheless has some attractiveness to it.

 



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In the Name of My Daughter, a slow-paced French drama directed by André Téchiné (Wild Reeds) opened at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. It follows the true story of a juicy scandal revolving around the infamous Renee La Roux (the amazing Catherine Deneuve) and her opening of a murder trial thirty years after the disappearance of her daughter, Agnes (Adele Haenel.)

Téchiné likes working with fact-based, heavily-covered media stories revolving around love, sex, anger, betrayal, and manipulation; his most recent film The Girl on The Train told the story of a young girl who claimed she was the target of an anti-Semitic attack, but when it got picked up by the media, her story didn’t really add up.

In the Name of My Daughter tries to uncover the truth behind the vanishing of a casino heiress, but ultimately fails. When Madame La Roux’s husband dies leaving her the casino and a very nice fortune, her lover (and the casino’s lawyer) Maurice (Guillaume Canet) wants to be the manager. When La Roux declines, seeing Maurice’s boundaries, he cleverly goes for her mentally unstable daughter Agnes instead, who quickly falls head over heels in love with him even though he is over a decade older than she is.

What’s more heartbreaking than the fact that the mother and daughter share the same man in bed is that Renee sees what is happening, but is unable to stop it. All hell breaks loose when Maurice convinces her to betray her mother and vote against her at a stockholders’ session, transferring millions of francs to him, ruining Renee’s future.

It all pretty much goes downhill from there as everyone tries to seek revenge in the dirty game they are playing. The passionate yet tormented Agnes tries committing suicide by taking too many pills after Maurice leaves her hanging, and later she completely disappears forever. Up to this day, no body has been found, and it is assumed that the mafia (also going after the money) killed her, but Renee La Roux still believes that Maurice murdered her daughter and wants her own revenge, opening up the case and bringing him to trial 30 years later (with everyone one is in super old people makeup).

The inconclusive ending to the film leaves us in a weird limbo of mixed emotions and unanswered questions, but even though all this probably sounds a lot more exciting to read than it was to watch, In the Name of My Daughter nevertheless has some attractiveness to it. For example, we have Catherine Deneuve and her everlasting beauty (in looks as well as performance), and the stunning French landscapes might still make it worth the watch. Especially if you haven’t heard about this particular French scandal, then Téchiné may definitely bring something new to the table for you. | Lea Vrábelová

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