Arts & Entertainment

CLAIRE DARLING

An estranged mother and daughter haven’t seen each other for many years, but reconnect for the most peculiar of reasons in this small film from France.

Claire Darling awakens one morning and decides to have a garage sale, emptying the house of all her prized possessions exclaiming “call it a nervous breakdown…God told me to do it…I have to tidy the house before I die tonight…”

Her daughter Marie arrives and questions her mother as to why she is selling all her treasures. Audiences will learn about the tragedy which befell the family – the secret which has shattered an elderly lady and enhanced her mental decline.

What propelled Marie to leave her mother and why does she state that her childhood home “stinks of unhappiness”?

Real life mother and daughter Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni are perfectly cast in this family drama where the story unfolds in flashbacks.

Enchanting and colourful scenes of fully operational antique mechanical dolls momentarily deviate from the intense discontentment and anguish which resonates throughout.

Does wealth and living in a beautiful home bring happiness? Poignant and heart-wrenching at times, the twist in the final moments may shock and leave audiences slightly underwhelmed. (MMo)

★★★ ½

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