Ismael’s Ghosts was a very interesting and emotionally sophisticated film about the life and work of Ismael (Mathieu Amalric). On a seaside holiday with his girlfriend Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg), they are visited by Carlotta (Marion Cotillard), Ismael’s former wife, who has been missing, presumed dead for 21 years.

Carlotta’s audacity and immaturity are beautifully contrasted with Sylvia’s emotional intelligence and strength of character. Ismael is also a very likeable character, who is swept up in the emotion of grief, but initially torn between the two women.

At 134 minutes it is a very long film, and it is as rewarding as it is emotionally complex.

I am amazed at how much of the French language I can still understand after all these years, although I do have the subtitles to prompt me. It is such a beautiful language.

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