Directed by Philippe Garrel • Drama • With Logann Antuofermo, Oulaya Amamra, André Wilms • 2020 • 101 minutes
Veteran filmmaker Philippe Garrel once again fashions a pinpoint-precise and economical study of young love and its prevarications, which ever so gradually blossoms into an emotionally resonant moral tale. Handsome Luc (Logann Antuofermo), following in his aging father’s footsteps to study the craft of furniture joining, doesn’t appear to have any trouble meeting and dating women; as the film opens he’s aggressively courting Djemila (Oulaya Amamra) at a Paris bus stop. Skeptical yet ultimately trusting, Djemila will not be Luc’s one and only. Constructed and composed with crystalline austerity, and co-written with Jean-Claude Carrière and Arlette Langmann—who collaborated on Garrel’s last two films, In the Shadow of Women and Lover for a Day —The Salt of Tears is a pocket portrait that demonstrates the persistent vitality of one of French cinema’s great observers of the callowness of youth.
“A heady mood of refined melancholy underpinned with aspects of contemporary politics… (with) an ecstatic dance scene that embodies the elusive dream of happiness.” —Richard Brody, The New Yorker