"Knock an hour off the running time and this is a five star flick."
Jacques Rivette is a directorial legend. One of the founders of the French New Wave movement with Jean-Luc Godard, he was 73 when he put together this film and had certainly lost none of his flair – even if his sense of pacing is a little off.Translated as Who Knows but often going under the English title Go Figure, Va Savoir is an ensemble dramedy about the lives of six Parisians.. Camille (Jeanne Balibar) is an actress who has been away from her Paris home for three years. When she returns to star in a production directed by Ugo (Sergio Castillitto), who also happens to be her new husband, she re-encounters old friends. One of these is Pierre (Jacques Bonnaffe) an old flame who is now married to Sonia (Marianne Basler), who is having an affair with Arthur (Bruno Todeschini). His half-sister Dominique (Helene De Fougerolles) is the daughter of a rich family. So what does Rivette do with these people and their settled lives? He performs a switcheroo and places each of them in the next person’s life. Affairs, double-crosses, seductions, duels, thievery and plenty of acid-tongued talk ensues as the web becomes evermore entwined with yet another shift soon after. By the end of this thing, you’re pretty certain everyone has screwed or screwed over everyone else, but it’s okay because they’re all such fun to watch.
Certainly the headliner of the piece is Balibar. An accomplished stage actress, she’s got that timeless French grace that goes beyond beauty, and she’s truly compelling from start to finish, despite the fact that Rivette allows his running time to get perilously close to the three hour mark. Honestly, this film could have been wrapped up beautifully in 90 minutes, but I guess when an icon of French cinema decides he wants to take his time, you just let him take his freaking time.A film more for connoisseurs of cinematic art than mere mortal filmgoers, but if you can endure it, it’s worth the time spent.