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      Before the Winter Chill

      2013 1 hr. 43 min. Drama List
      72% 18 Reviews Tomatometer 38% 100+ Ratings Audience Score Lucie believes Paul, an elderly neurosurgeon, has had an affair. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (9) audience reviews
      Audience Member Fair, although rather cliche. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Like to see Kristin Scott Thomas play...good acting , interesting simple story...no idea how much he told her at the end. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Although this film seems constantly to be about to shift into thriller-mode, ultimately it is not about stalking or murder plots, but about ageing and the slow dissolution of a once loving marriage. While poignant and well-srcipted, it does lack the pace and excitement it so often alludes to, but is still an intelligent, thought-provoking film. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Philippe Claudel is a genius! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member I can understand why some will be disappointed by this film but I really enjoyed my time watching it. Yes, the ending wasn't a blast but that doesn't take away from the fact that the rest of the film engaged me entirely. in fact, the post-denouement (these French words get everywhere) final minute is rather poignant. Tonight was a slow night with about 50 in the audience, but none got up as soon as the credits rolled like they usually do, all sat there either really interested in who the supporting cast was or just absorbing what they'd seen. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member There comes a point in Before The Winter Chill when the respected neurosurgeon Paul (Daniel Auteuil) stands frozen with trembling hands over the exposed brain of a patient. After years of walking through his life he is burnt out, no longer able to grasp his own reality. Paul is in the autumn of his life - a recurring metaphor that runs from the film's title to the orange foliage around his sleek modern home. The days of excitement and adventure are behind him. He is cast adrift in his own life, sleepwalking through his marriage and friendships - "It goes by so fast, no time to brake". A man in possession of the perfect life, Paul is wealthy, lives in a minimalist country house with his loving wife Lucie (Kristin Scott Thomas) and is at the height of his profession - but a sudden moment of clarity fills him with resentment for Lucie and everything about his wasted, idyllic years. This abrupt realisation is sparked by a chance encounter with a young barmaid who claims Paul operated on her as a child and appears determined to show her belated gratitude. Receiving endless bunches of roses with the ominous air of death threats about them, Paul is jolted from his autumnal stupor to embrace this new mysterious excitement. Lucie begins to suspect Paul is having an affair, but the ugly truth is far darker. The film gradually layers its mystery under a deathly calm, with events so motionless and silent there is barely wind in the trees. This creeping sedation and overriding melancholia are absorbing up to a point, but for all its slow burn Before The Winter Chill isn't able to amount to much either narratively or emotionally. After solid work establishing the detachment of Paul from his own life, the film suffers much the same fate - leaving us detached and uninvolved. Two parts domestic drama, one part thriller, there is a certain disharmony between the tones that is never fully resolved. The performances from Auteuil and Scott Thomas are both strong, and imbue their marital hostility with a believable vitriol - but set against Paul's blacker discoveries in the final act both portions fall slightly flat. A fairly heavy-handed repeated motif of Puccini's La Boheme - which hints at the operatic grief Paul is to suffer in the pursuit of youth - provides a degree of diversion, giving proceedings a taste of peril that is otherwise largely absent. During a single viewing of Before The Winter Chill there is plenty of pleasure to be found in the icy atmosphere and the slow wind of mysteries becoming taut - but as it draws to a close in a haze of contrived inconsequence there is plainly very little here to dwell upon. It passes the memory by as inconspicuously as Paul's latter years. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (18) Critics Reviews
      Todd McCarthy Hollywood Reporter Elegantly cool rather than downright chilly, novelist-turned-filmmaker Philippe Claudel's third feature has a distinctly literary feel, as it plants its dramatic seeds very methodically before accelerating to a startling denouement. Apr 7, 2015 Full Review Liz Moody Empire Magazine An affecting midlife mood piece. Rated: 3/5 Apr 7, 2015 Full Review Mark Kermode Observer (UK) With its chilly visual sheen and sharp bourgeois satire, this handsomely mounted and consistently well-played yarn offers disposable pleasures and rewarding intrigue. Rated: 3/5 May 11, 2014 Full Review Ben Nicholson CineVue All three of the lead actors turn in strong, but undeniably reserved, performances as their characters pent up feelings remain as ambiguous to us as each other. Rated: 3/5 Mar 21, 2019 Full Review Jorge Ayala Blanco El Financiero An intriguing thriller based on melancholy, mystery, vagueness, ambiguity and perfectionism. [full review in Spanish] May 30, 2015 Full Review Jasper Rees The Arts Desk It's only towards the end that you discover that Before the Winter Chill could have been a gripping thriller. Instead it's a mildly haunting disquisition on the peril of the midlife crisis. Rated: 3/5 Apr 7, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Lucie believes Paul, an elderly neurosurgeon, has had an affair.
      Director
      Philippe Claudel
      Screenwriter
      Philippe Claudel, Philippe Claudel
      Production Co
      Canal+, Les films du 24, France 3 Cinéma, Samsa Film
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      French (Canada)
      Release Date (DVD)
      Jun 24, 2014