Divorce, Le [2003]

The cinematic team of Merchant Ivory (Howard's End, The Remains of the Day) leaves corsets behind for the contemporary world of Americans in Paris. The day Isabel Walker (Kate Hudson, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days) comes to visit her pregnant sister Roxy (Naomi Watts, Mullholland Drive) is the day Roxy's French husband leaves her. The divorce proceedings end up centering around a painting, long owned by the Walkers, that the husband's family would like to claim--but their maneuverings are complicated when Isabel begins an affair with a diplomat (Thierry Lhermitte, The Closet) who just happens to be Roxy's uncle-in-law. At its best moments, Le Divorce has the feel of one of Woody Allen's serio-comic films like Hannah and Her Sisters, and there's a genuinely suspenseful climactic scene on the Eiffel Tower. Also featuring Leslie Caron, Glenn Close, Matthew Modine, Stephen Fry, Sam Waterston, and Stockard Channing. --Bret Fetzer

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