A worldly construction supervisor travels to Tangier to ensure that a complicated job is completed by the projected date, only to find the torch he carries for a long-lost love rekindled with melancholy passion in director Andre Techine's pensive romantic drama. It's been thirty-years since Antoine (Gerard Depardieu) and Ceclile (Catherine Denuve) called it quits, but time has only seemed to amplify Antoine's longings for the woman that stole his heart so many years ago. Though Antoine has never married, Cecile is now the host of a successful radio show whose extended marriage to Moroccan doctor Nathan (Gilbert Melki) has yielded a now-grown son named Sami (Malik Zidi). When Antoine arrives in Northern Morocco to watch over his latest project, his attention soon diverts to Cecile - who has always been close in Antoine's mind despite the physical and emotional distance between them. Cecil isn't as willing to let go of her blissfully predictable routine, however, and as Antoine dejectedly ponders a means of making her change her mind, the appearance of Cecil's closeted son - who has recently arrived home with his troubled Moroccan girlfriend (Lubna Azabal) in tow - begins to cause complications of its own. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
A feast for fans of French film acting, CHANGING TIMES offers greats like Deneuve and Depardieu, along with the less-known but equally fine Gilbert Melki and some good younger thesps--all in the service of another interesting look by Andre Techine at the enduring, difficult connection between France and North Africa in all its economic, political and very human expanse. In this--perhaps one of his minor efforts, but wonderful nonetheless--the great director also looks at love and its psychological, parental, sexual, and need-versus-desire aspects. There is so much here that at times it threatens to tilt the balance even of the filmmaker, let alone his audience. But I find working through the surfeit of Techine's concerns more invigorating than sitting through the meager, but easily-digested, offerings of so many other directors. I suspect you will, too.