ONE TO ANOTHER
(Chacun sa nuit)

The audience is not told until the end of ONE TO ANOTHER (CHACUN SA
NUIT)
that what has been depicted in the fourth feature film of co-directors
Pascal Arnold and Jean-Marc Barr is based on real events. Set in rural
France, the film centers on a group of five teenagers who have experimented
with all sorts of sexual permutations. There's Lucie (Lizzie Brocheré) and her
devoted brother Pierre (Arthur Dupont), along with Nicolas (Guillaume Baché)
who has romanced both siblings, Sébastien (Pierre Perrier), Lucie's current
bedmate, and Baptiste (Nicolas Nollet), the shy one of the group. The quintet
is also spied on by oddball Paul (Karl E. Landler), a naif who appears to have
some sort of psychic gift and whose presence is tolerated by the siblings.
Pierre is de facto the leader of the group and frontman for the rock band the
guys have formed.

When
ONE TO ANOTHER opens, Pierre has disappeared on his
motorcycle, which dredges up memories of his and Lucie's father who died in
a motorcycle accident. Pierre's disappearance has caused Lucie to have a
nervous breakdown and she is in hospital, and the majority of the film is from
her point of view, since she is writing her memories of her brother at the
behest of the doctor treating her.

Gradually, the audience learns many different things about Pierre and Lucie.
The siblings share a very close bond that flirts with incest, although Lucie is
quick to point out that they never actually had intercourse. One day, Pierre
goes missing while riding his motorbike -- dredging up memories of the
siblings' late father who died in a motorcycling accident. When Pierre's body
is found, Lucie feels the police aren't doing enough and sets out to find her
brother's killer. She turns to Paul and offers to sleep with him in return for his
using his "gifts." Later, she seduces a detective (Mathieu Boujenah) in an
effort to glean information. Lucie also interviews anyone she suspects, from a
skinhead (Guillaume Gouix) to a local politician (Jean-Christophe Bouvet) who
paid Pierre for sexual services.

When this film played at Toronto in the fall of 2006, several critics faulted it for
"self-indulgence" and "pretentiousness," but I would submit that these people
may have forgotten what adolescence is like. Teenagers often feel they are
the center of the world, and they sometimes do make seemingly overwrought
statements. It is also a time for many to experiment, particularly as they
become aware of the power of sexuality. This being a French film, there is
also a lack of a Puritanical approach to sex and the naked body -- the film
contains numerous full-frontal shots of both the male and female body.
I found
ONE TO ANOTHER to be rather intriguing and gripping. Admittedly,
like some of those at Toronto, there is a small problem at the beginning of the
film in telling who is who among the four males, but gradually I was able to
figure out who was who, though clues like the clothing or shoes they wore. For
many of the younger actors, this is among their first feature film appearances,
so the quality of the performances do vary. Over all, though, I found the film to
be engrossing and fairly well done and would recommend it.


                
Rating:                B
© 2007 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
L to R: Lizzie Brocheré as Lucie, Arthur Dupont as Pierre and Guillaume
Baché as Nicolas in
One to Another / Chacun sa nuit
Directed by Pascal Arnold & Jean-Marc Barr, 2006; 95m
Photo Credit: La Fabrique de Films