Adapted from Kaylie Jones' semi-autobiographical novel (her father, James Jones, wrote From Here to Eternity
and The Thin Red Line
), this elegiac, tonally diverse but not entirely successful piece is nonetheless a delightful aberration
from the Merchant-Ivory team. The painterly sequence of shots that open the film, languidly framing a beautiful, pregnant young French woman (Virginie Ledoyen) as she loafs and writes in her journal at a beach house, could easily come from a contemporary French drama. Flash-forward to a few years
later, and we're sucked into chez
Willis, where the woman's child, Benoit, is being adopted by Bill and Marcella Willi...