Valley Of Love Review - AVClub

AVClub: Arriving in U.S. theaters nearly a year after it largely mystified audiences at Cannes, Valley Of Love stars Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu as famous French actors named Isabelle and Gérard, whose respective careers, when discussed, sound identical to Huppert’s and Depardieu’s own. Are they playing themselves, then? Not exactly, because Isabelle and Gérard were once married, whereas Huppert and Depardieu have only ever been colleagues. (They previously appeared together in Bertrand Blier’s Going Places and Maurice Pialat’s Loulou; this is their first onscreen pairing since 1980.) The film’s writer-director, Guillaume Nicloux, apparently has a taste for this sort of playful metafiction; his previous feature, The Kidnapping Of Michel Houellebecq, stars real-life novelist Houellebecq as himself, dramatizing false rumors regarding his alleged disappearance in 2011. In this case, however, it’s not very clear what’s gained from references to the stars’ celebrity, which seems irrelevant to the offbeat narrative surrounding them.

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