Robin Wright Peter Debruge Saïd Ben-Saïd Catherine Breillat Denmark film audience record Department Love Party Haynes Robin Wright Peter Debruge Saïd Ben-Saïd Catherine Breillat Denmark

‘Last Summer’ Review: Catherine Breillat Makes Her Comeback With a Thorny Affair Between a Teen and His Stepmom

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Peter Debruge Chief Film Critic It began in the son’s room, when father was away on business. L’enfant thought it was l’amour, but for her, 30-odd years his senior, the sex, lies and audiotape were a mistake.

Wild at heart, she’d yielded to the taste of … oh, never mind. Competing for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, Catherine Breillat’s “Last Summer” echoes films that have come before — most notably, 2019 Danish drama “Queen of Hearts,” on which it’s based — but it proves most daring in the ways the film departs for its more conventionally moralistic source, and especially in Breillat’s refusal to call either party a parasite.

Yes, the affair between a lawyer and her 17-year-old stepson is a betrayal — of her marriage, of her parental responsibilities, of everything she stands for as an attorney — but that’s nothing compared to how the 50-ish woman deals with it when word gets out in this thought-provoking domestic drama.

In reviewing the original, Variety’s Guy Lodge wrote, “you can practically envisage a Robin Wright-starring U.S. remake” — which isn’t far from the truth.

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