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Image Entertainment presents
The New Eve (La Nouvelle Ève) (1999)

"Funny we keep bumping into one another."
- Alexis (Pierre-Loup Rajot)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: February 26, 2001

Stars: Karin Viard, Pierre-Loup Rajot
Other Stars: Catherine Frot, Sergi López, Mireille Roussel, Nozha Khouadra, Laurent Lucas, Valentine Vidal
Director: Catherine Corsini

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: R for (Nudity, sexual situations)
Run Time: 01h:30m:26s
Release Date: January 16, 2001
UPC: 014381876123
Genre: late night

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-A-A- D-

DVD Review

Camille (Karin Viard) has no time for discussions about babies and marriage, which seems to dominate the family dinner table conversation when her brother Solveig (Nozha Khouadra) and his pregnant wife visit. Instead, she prefers to head out into the world of sex parties with no commitments and carefree abandon. This doesn't make her happy, nor does being dragged home by her friends after too much to drink and too many drugs. Still, it does afford at least a short while where she can have intimate closeness, and feel wanted by another. One day, as she wanders the streets sobbing, she runs into Alexis (Pierre-Loup Rajot), who takes a moment to calm her down, which is an extension of kindness she feels is far too uncommon, but he feels is the thing to do. When she runs into him again at an art gallery where her brother is showing his work, her curiosity is piqued again, and she begins to set up ways to run into Alexis coincidentally. After finding out he is active in the political arena, she shows up at a party meeting, feigning interest in politics to get closer to Alexis, as she realises she is falling in love with him. Her world comes crashing down when she discovers that not only is he happily married, but also has two children. Still she can't separate herself from this man, sensing fate has brought them together, and begins hanging around with the family, though, in an misguided effort to make him jealous, she takes up with Ben (Sergi L€€pez), who in turn falls in love with her. Feeling the walls of an impending relationship closing in she bolts, and professes her love to Alexis, but he is taken aback, swears loyalty to his wife, who by now is on to Camille's intentions. Resigning her party membership Camille gives up on Alexis. Now he begins to make the advances and the two start up a relationship, but Camille begins to feel the need to have him all to herself, not content being the mistress. When a wild weekend doesn't come off as planned, her hurt and anger steer her back to her former lifestyle. A lot of things will have changed by the time they meet again, but will their feelings for each other be among them?

Director Catherine Corsini takes us on a wild ride through one woman's obsession with a married man. It is a situation doomed to failure by its very nature, yet no common sense can overcome Camille's feeling that the pair were meant for each other. She is driven, whether it is simply in an exaggerated attempt to set herself up for perpetual misery, or a desperate grasp at true love. The story deals with the complexity of modern relationships and the control issues behind them. While the film is comedic in nature, at no time are we left feeling sorry for Camille, despite the fact that she is obviously lost in the world of real releationships, and despite her need for freedom also feels incomplete without the restriction of a partnership. We see her as a woman of indecision, who must maintain control of her own life, but whose decisions don't always have the effect she intended.

Karin Viard plays the role effortlessly, and her clumsiness and overall disorientation at the whole scenario is both funny and pathetic. The whole cast work well together, and the decision to surround Camille with either the "normal" heterosexual relationship of her brother and his family or her lesbian best friends adds to the confusion she faces. While I don't know that I would really recommend it highly, it is worth a look, especially if you think your own life is a mess!

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented here in anamorphic widescreen, for the most part The New Eve looks extremely good, with well rendered film grain and no signs of edge enhancement. Colors are solid and vivid when need be. There are a number of instances where compression is evident however, in the unnatural stepping of background images which loses some of the subtle movement of trees and so forth, though most people wouldn't notice this.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The French audio is clear with no distortion. While this is a Prologic mix, the surrounds are hardly used.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: There is nothing but two chapter selection screens for extras.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Exuding a subdued humor, The New Eve takes us through the rollercoaster ride of a young woman trying to find her way in the new society. Karin Viard gives us a credible performance in this French relationship comedy, and the mishmash of supporting characters add to the confusion she faces while bridging between her old world and the oncoming future. Not for the testosterone crowd, this one will probably appeal to females more than males. Although there are several intimate scenes, the promo blurbs make this sound more risqué than it is.


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