There are so many reasons to like this film. First, the cast includes two of the lead actresses of two different generations – the priceless and prize covered and one of the top performers of the younger generation , who after having started and made herself a name in blockbusters took a turn into her career to more profound and fulfilling roles. Then, it’s a story with multiple threads and subtext, but centered around the show (more specifically theater) business where the two actresses live and breathe. Last but not least, it’s a movie that while well told as a story leaves enough room for mystery and imagination. I am just surprised by the relative low impact the film had in festivals and even with the public – and I suspect that some distribution problems were involved.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2452254/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2452254/

 

The story written and brought to screen by is said to have been tailored and designed for , and these fine actress really deserves it and makes the best of it. It’s a story about a theater actress who debuted two decades before the action takes place as the younger pole of a feminine couple in a play that is about power fight between ages and a love story built out of that confrontation. She’s now the age of the older woman in the couple and is asked to play the other other on stage, just after the playwright and mentor has passed away. She accepts half-heartily and starts repeating the role in the cottage located in the Swiss mountains that belonged to the author, together with her young assistant (). Is the relation in life a replica of the one in the play? The borders between the two are blurred away more and more as the story advances … and I will tell no more in order to avoid spoiling any ounce of the pleasure of watching one of the most intelligent and sensitive dialogues and intriguing story line I have seen recently on screens.  I will just say that both actresses are magnificent and that the film tells a lot about relations, friendship, art, the borders between art and life, show business cruel rules and the role that ‘smart’ communications play in our lives.

 

(video source IFC Films)

 

And then we have Switzerland, and its landscapes which play such an important role in the aesthetics and in the drama, maybe exactly because of their beauty and apparent tranquility. I loved the threatening metaphor of the snake that gives the name of the play-in-the-film and shows up only once at a key moment. Or maybe it does not, because there is much that is not told in this movie which is exactly the reason some may not like it, and some other will love it and will continue to be haunted by it after the screening ends. I belong to the later category.