Fiction and actuality are seamlessly interwoven in Eric Rohmer’s funny and deeply moving account of a young woman’s quest for good company in this mysterious and beautiful study of solitude, depression and anxiety.
Marie Rivière gives a wonderful (largely improvised) performance as Delphine, a shy, sensitive young woman who has just broken up with her boyfriend. When the realisation that she has nowhere to go for the summer, and no one to go with, triggers a profound, poignant depression her hectoring, insensitive friends only make things worse with their strident advice that she should get out more. Seemingly unable to stop crying and after various unhappy attempts at getting away, Delphine seems devastated at her own sadness and humiliated at being seen to be sad in a world of couples. Then, when overhearing a discussion about Jules Verne’s The Green Ray - a flash of green light that is sometimes visible at sunset- Delphine becomes fascinated with seeing this elusive meteorological event and the promise that comes with it. Might she witness it? And even have someone to witness it with?
This emotional odyssey of rare honesty and quietly miraculous humanity epitomises the wondrous talents of the late, great French director. A lovely, gentle film that’s brilliantly executed in every respect.