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Laramie Movie Scope: Passages

A lover's quadrangle soap opera

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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January 14, 2024 – An affair between a heterosexual woman and a homosexual (perhaps bisexual) man looks very shaky from the beginning and it leads a number of entirely predictable conflicts.

Don't look for this French-German film (dialog is English and French) to come to many American theaters soon because it has a very explicit homosexual sex scenes in it. The American director (and co-writer) Ira Sachs, known for “Love is Strange” and “Little Men,” helms this movie, set in modern day Paris.

The main character, Tomas Freiburg (played by Franz Rogowski of “A Hidden Life”) is a movie director. Tomas is an impetuous man who is used to getting his own way as a director, and he makes the mistake of trying to force others to abide by his whims in his personal life as well.

Putting Tomas into a relationship with others is like throwing a hand grenade into a bunch of dynamite boxes. Tomas is in a seemingly stable relationship with mild mannered Martin (Ben Whishaw of “Women Talking”) early in the movie, but we begin to wonder about that later on, because Tomas tends to be bossy, and he takes Martin for granted.

Martin and Tomas are in for hard times when Tomas has an intense affair with the very sexy school teacher, Agathe (played by Adèle Exarchopoulos of “All Your Faces”). Tomas moves in with Agathe, but soon, his wandering eye wavers back towards Martin. Meanwhile, Martin begins an affair with another man, Amand (Erwan Kepoa Falé of “Winter Boy”).

Tomas gets Agathe pregnant. She wants to get married and raise the child with Tomas. However, Tomas is jealous of Martin's relationship with Amand, and is determined to break up that relationship and get back with Martin. He doesn't mention any of this to Agathe.

Tomas even tells Martin that they can adopt Agathe's baby without consulting Agathe first. Tomas knows that Martin wants a child and that this prospect might reel him back in to their relationship.

Obviously, this cannot continue. There has to be a resolution to this four-way relationship and somebody is going to get hurt. Tomas is the bad guy, and he even looks like a bad guy. Everyone else in this mess is reasonable, including Agathe's parents (Caroline Chaniolleau plays Agathe's mother and Olivier Rabourdin plays Agathe's father) who are concerned about the welfare of Agathe, and the baby on the way, because of Tomas' detached attitude.

Since this story takes place in France, Agathe has a way out of this mess that might not be available to some women in the United States, and she takes it. Eventually, this mess is resolved, but nobody is happy about the outcome. Some are more damaged than others. The acting is solid in this movie, even if the story is predictable. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2024 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]