Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert) and Gérard (Gérard Depardieu) go to a strange appointment in Death Valley, California. They have not seen each other for years and are here to answer an invitation from their son Michael, a photographer, which they received after his suicide, six months ago.
The film enables us to feel the emotional weight of a posthumous letter precisely because we can only imagine its contents.
It’s illuminating to see Huppert and Depardieu in a different mode, and Huppert brings a delicate physical and emotional fragility to her role. These two are fantastic, and they’re fantastic together.
It’s a little messy, like life, but it’s also beautiful to experience.
The performers continue to exhibit those qualities forty years after the fact, reuniting in the evocative, sometimes puzzling, and sometimes moving Valley of Love.
The fish-out-of water moments are great fun, watching arthouse gods Depardieu and Huppert in tacky tourist hell.
A flawed but affecting two-hander that intrigues and frustrates in nearly equal measure.
Isabelle and Gérard’s regrets and laments about their parenting skills betray no bone-deep rue or shame but are delivered with all the conviction of two luminaries merely running their lines.