Hannah is a woman well beyond her prime. She partakes in an avant garde drama class. She works as a house maid to a rich, probably, Parisian family's household. With a, maybe, stay-at-home wife and a blind young son.
Back in her apartment, Hannah cooks dinner for herself and her husband. Fish. She and her husband dines before the TV. A sordid little apartment suitable for two sordid little people. A scruffy dog. Last dinner, it turns out!
Next day, the couple drives to a prison and the husband is admitted. For what crime we're never told.
Hannah keeps working, keeps attending drama classes. She has no friends. She talks to no one. A woman bangs on her door one evening. She wants to talk, "mother to mother". Simon, the faceless woman's son, is wetting his bed now. Isn't Hannah responsible? For what?
After visiting a bath, Hannah is told that her membership has been revoked, not expired. It has been revoked! Why?
At young black woman really tells the entire story while riding the Metro, but not in the way she thinks. She tells her lover, also riding in the same Metro car: "Did you ever love me?" "You should have told me what you wanted from the start". Hannah is riding in the same Metro car and hears the young woman. And she is reminded. The words uttered by the young woman should really have been Hannah's.
Hannah rides the Metro to Michel, her estranged son whom she calls every week but never get any replies from.
Her grandson, George, Michel's won, is having a birthday and Hannah has baked Michel's favourite cake. But Hannah is not welcome at the house when she arrives. George runs out to meet his granny but is told to go back inside by Michel. The cake Hannah baked with such aching love isn't welcome and the present she bought is wasted. Michel tells his mother off. "You're not welcome here!"
Hannah's utter desolation in a women's restroom after the rejection is horrific.
A handy man comes to Hannah to take a look at a leak from the apartment above and needs to move a cabinet. An envelope is stuck to the back of the cabinet. Hannah picks it up when the handy man leaves. She looks at what's in the envelope and we see the contents in Hannah's face. And we know why Hannah's husband is in jail. We know why Michel hates his mother and won't let Hannah meet her grandson.
Hannah confronts her husband in jail and he turns and leaves. And the utter desolation of Hannah and her entire life is terrible.
Charlotte Rampling is perfect as Hannah. A woman who never really envisioned, when she was young, the life she would have in her old age. Like most of us have no idea.
Intimate portrait of a woman drifting between reality and denial when she is left alone to grapple with the consequences of her husband's imprisonment.
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July 08, 2018 at 07:26 AM