Pawel Pawlikowski’s first film since 2004’s My Summer Of Love is a step up in terms of ambition, following Ethan Hawke’s disgraced American author as he travels to Paris in an attempt to build bridges with his estranged wife and daughter. So his life unravels as he finds himself tied up with a ghoulish gang of banlieue hoods (Amélie this is not) and, more erotically, Kristin Scott Thomas’s femme fatale and limpid Polish waitress Joanna Kulig. Hampered by an at times overtly “European arthouse” feel, this is nonetheless an unsettling meditation that plays with ideas of memory, grief, mental illness and even the supernatural, with Hawke, Kulig and Scott Thomas in affecting form.
A college lecturer flees to Paris after a scandal costs him his job. In the City of Lights, he meets a widow who might be involved in a series of murders.