• 70'
  • France
  • 2007
Both for those who have never seen a film by Arnaud Desplechin (but would like to) and for those who know his oeuvre, this personal documentary is a jewel to be cherished. L’aimée offers a glimpse of the creative source for one of France's best cinematographers at this moment. It is a kind of home movie - this time not recorded on shaking video but meticulously shot on 35mm by Caroline Champetier.
The film maker returns to Roubaix, where his father is going to sell the family house. L’aimée is first of all the story of Thérèse, the grandmother of the film maker on his father's side. She died as a result of TB when she was 36 and Arnaud's father was only two .
The father, Robert, tells his son what he knows about the woman he never really knew and together they reconstruct her life with the aid of photographs, diaries, letters and a painting of Thérèse that is hanging in the father's bedroom. That picture is augmented by the imagination and by a camera that roams the rooms of the house as they slowly get emptier. This makes L’aimée a moving portrait of a young woman and a familiar document about family relationships and family houses. The film is also, as indicated by the use of Bernard Herrmann's score for Hitchcock's Vertigo, about how we cope with the loss of loved ones. How each tries to fill the void, albeit not necessarily with the neurosis of Vertigo. (GT)

Arnaud Desplechin
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2008
Pascal Caucheteux, Arnaud Desplechin
Production Companies
Why Not Productions, Magica Films
Wild Bunch
Caroline Champetier
Laurence Briaud
Sound Design
Sophie Laloy, Claire-Anne Largeron
Robert Desplechin, Fabrice Desplechin