Memory gray area Press

A social worker falls in love with a man suffering from early-onset dementia in her care, after initially mistaking him for an aggressor.

A social worker, sober for 13 years, Sylvia (Jessica Chastain) raises her daughter Anna (Brooke Timbers) alone in her modest apartment. While attending her high school reunion with her sister Olivia (Merritt Weaver), Sylvia leaves the party when a man, Saul (Peter Sarsgaard, Best Actor winner at Mostra), looks at her insistently. The next morning, she finds it frozen and in disarray in front of her house. She learns from Saul’s brother Isaac (Josh Charles) that Saul is suffering from early dementia.

Shortly afterward, Sylvia encounters Saul, whom she mistakes for one of the boys who abused her as a teenager. Olivia tells Sylvia that Saul did not go to their school at that time. At the request of Isaac’s daughter Sarah (Elsie Fisher), Sylvia agrees to look after Saul during the day. Despite the illness, Sylvia begins an affair with Saul, but the return of Sylvia and Olivia’s mother Samantha (Jessica Harper) threatens to ruin everything.

The third feature film in English from Mexican director Michel Franco (long term, sunset, Memory It features characters who are larger than life, played with great nuance by actors at the top of their craft. Encamped in Brooklyn, whose work was directed by Belgian cinematographer Yves Cape (smallBy Guillaume Nicloux) Shows all the picturesque without succumbing to postcard aesthetics, this half-tone drama benefits from a realistic style that evokes admiration.

However, Franco has fleshed out his characters so much and complicated the main story that he neglects its many layers. Thus, he leaves out Sylvia’s doubts about Saul’s execution, as if he no longer knows what to do with them during the writing. The reunion between Sylvia and her mother, organized by Anna against her earlier wishes, gives rise to revelations that will be little developed and then immediately blanked out.

Furthermore, the development of the relationship between this woman haunted by painful memories and this man slowly sinking into the fog moves at such a languid pace that the reactions of those around them seem incoherent. With its incredible ending, Memory Despite its undeniable qualities, it reveals itself to be a dull and heavy melodrama that gets lost at times along the way.

In theaters in the original English version




Michael Franco

Jessica Chastain, Peter Sarsgaard, Merritt Wever



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