Wanting to add a sober balance to romance, French-born director Agnès Jaoui partnered up with colleague Jean-Pierre Bacri once again to produce Au Bout Du Conte (English title, “Under the Rainbow”). With all the curiosities that might haunt the audience afterwards, though, it is nearly impossible to say if this film is exquisite or a poisoned apple.
Au Bout Du Conte employees a wide variety of characters, but neglects to connect who is related to, interested in, or distant from who initially, possibly making viewers confused when the lines are finally drawn. Even after all this is cleared up and each character has identified a unique problem that renders their life less than ideal, Jaoui and Bacri fail to resolve anything in the end; or at least they keep each character disinterested in their own accomplishments. Additionally, choice scenes are laced with overt head nods at classic fairy tales (Snow White, Cinderella). While nothing bad can be said about the recognitions, these moments arise suddenly and appear severely inapposite, and then disappear as quickly as they came about. All of these beg the question whether Au Bout Du Conte is a masterful commentary on the delusion that life is a fairy tale, or just a poorly constructed film.
Theater goers will decide for themselves. Au Bout Du Conte is playing at the International Film Festival Tuesday, October 15, and Monday, October 21. Tickets can be purchased here.