Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski already had the sublime and unsurpassable Dekalog series to his credit when he embarked upon this trilogy, named after the colours of the French flag and derived from the Revolutionary principles of liberty, equality and fraternity.
Juliette Binoche gives an intense yet sensitive performance as Julie, the survivor of a car crash that killed her young daughter and her famous composer husband, Patrice (Hugues Quester).
She sells the family’s elegant country house and moves to a small flat in Paris, distancing herself from old friends and staying in touch only with her elderly mother, who is suffering from senile dementia and no longer recognises her.
She destroys the unfinished score of the work her husband was working on at the time of his death, although it emerges that a second copy of Patrice’s score has survived and that his friend and fellow-composer Olivier (Benoît Régent) intends to complete it.
Julie also discovers that her husband had a mistress, Sandrine (Florence Pernel), who is pregnant with his child. She discovers that, no matter how great her pain, she doesn’t have the freedom to give up life.
The process by which she deals with her grief is minutely observed, yet Kieslowski’s direction is never intrusive, and his use of Zbigniew Preisner’s score is inspired.
Julie Vignon de Courcy