Death Valley, located in the eastern part of the state near the Nevada border and considered by many to be the hottest place on earth. Yet that must have been the primary thing on the mind of French director Guillaume Nicloux when he titled his new film, which takes place there, VALLEY OF LOVE. What a strange and commanding -- the latter adjective thanks in large part to its two stars, Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu -- movie this is!
Hanging Offense (Cette femme-là), which I caught at one of the FSLC's Rendezvous-With French Cinemas more than a decade ago. In his new film, which he both wrote and directed (this filmmaker usually writes -- or at least co-writes or adapts -- all his work), a character named Isabelle and another named Gérard meet in Death Valley because their recently deceased son (he was a suicide) has written them each a letter asking them to come to this sunken, sweltering place, where he promises, if they arrive, he will, too.
Strand Releasing, opens this Friday, March 25, in New York City at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Los Angeles at Laemmle's Royal. In the weeks to come, it will hit another ten cities and theaters. (Click here and then click on Screenings to see all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters.) In any case, Strand usually and eventually offers DVD and streaming opportunities, so hang on, those of you who do not live near any of these dozen cities.