Claire Darling presents a thought-provoking glimpse into the minds of those who suffer with the maladies of old age. Legendary actress Catherine Deneuve portrays a matured woman dealing with memory loss and confronting her own mortality head on.
On the first day of summer, reclusive millionaire Claire (Deneuve) lays all of her worldly objects out on the front lawn of her mansion, impulsively determined to sell everything.
As a horde of curious bystanders and opportunistic neighbours fight over the ridiculously underpriced antiques, each object stirs vivid memories for Claire of her flamboyant life. But soon, her long-estranged daughter Marie (Chiara Mastroianni) arrives, determined to stop the proceedings by any means.
How director Julie Bertucelli constructs and weaves the events throughout the years of Darling’s life is both elegant and innovative. The garage sale offers up Darling’s life to the best bargain hunter, letting each piece tell its own story – a device that sees the present day morph into say, one year of her marriage that spotlights infidelity; the next, a defining moment that hints at the cause of estrangement with her now-adult daughter.
The ending is a surprise and doesn’t fit with the persona to which the character of Claire Darling has been built up to over the previous 90 minutes. Perhaps this is intentional; that no matter what romantic notions our memories of lost loved ones bring us, they were just as human as we and just trying to be the best they could be. Despite this, Deneuve is a pleasure to watch on screen, both carefree and matriarchal.
Claire Darling opens nationally on Thursday 20 June 2019 at all participating Palace Cinemas.
About Claire Darling
Directed by: Julie Bertuccelli
Written by: Julie Bertuccelli and Sophie Fillières, based on the novel “Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale” by Lynda Rutledge
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Samir Guesm, Laure Calamy