(L’amour cache) Another variation on Isabelle Huppert’s burgeoning bestiary of female variations, Alessandro Capone’s 2009 “Hidden Love” finds her playing Danielle, a pointedly perverse mother in her late forties, not hiding her age, who doesn’t care about her daughter Sophie, and a wan Greta Scacchi as the doctor who tries to help her with her anger and suicidal urges. In the shifts from present to past, from black-and-white to color, the ever-luminous Mélanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds”) plays the grown Sophie, and brings admirable fire to one memorable confrontation with her mother, yet a grandiloquent mutual hatred is more indicated than demonstrated. Visually, a motif of fearful stairways, corridors and escalators is suggestive but elusive in meaning. Even at its most banal, it’s lovingly lit by veteran cinematographer Luciano Tovoli (“The Passenger,” “Single White Female,” “Suspiria,” “Reversal of Fortune”). With Olivier Gourmet (“Mesrine,” “L’enfant,” “Read My Lips”), underused as the doctor’s husband. A co-production from Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. 90m. 35mm. (Ray Pride)
“Hidden Love” opens Friday at Facets. A trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.