TrustMovies would guess that just about every country has its own tale -- probably many of them -- like this one (god know, the U.S. has had its share down the decades) in which a prisoner and a prison guard/warden/ worker fall in love/lust and get it on, with consequences that vary from unpleasant to all-out death and destruction. DOWN BY LOVE (Eperdument). Pierre Godeau's intelligent and mostly riveting new film, based on a true tale of just this sort of situation that occurred in France some five years ago, is most interesting for what it leaves out.
Florent Gonçalves (the actual warden in the case), seems to me to have tried to give both of the lovers' points of view so as not to weigh things too heavily in favor of the warden. Godeau does not, for instance, deign to let us know for what crime, exactly, our heroine has been imprisoned. (Some research on my part leads me to conclude that the girl had acted as the "lure" in entrapping a young Jewish man who was then kidnapped, tortured and died at the hands of a gang of thugs who were Muslims. That case, in turn, was the basis of another good film covered here two years back entitled 24 Days.)
Adèle Exarchopoulos (of Blue Is the Warmest Color) and Guillaume Gallienne (practically unrecognizable here as the man who gave us Me, Myself and Mum). Their performances are reason enough to see the film: rich, strange and always believable. If you've ever been "head-over-heels," you'll understand perfectly the actions of both characters, even as you roll your eyes in recognition of the stupidity of it all.
Distrib Films US in French with English subtitles, and running a long but not too-long 110 minutes, Down by Love reaches the USA next Tuesday, January 31, on iTunes and then the following Monday, February 6 via Google Play, Amazon, Comcast, Charter, and Vudu.