Before The Winter Chill, film review

(15) Philippe Claudel, 103 mins Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Daniel Auteuil, Leila Bekhti

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The Independent Culture

Philippe Claudel’s slow-burning thriller boasts a superlative performance from Daniel Auteuil as a man in late middle age on the verge of a breakdown. He plays Paul, a highly successful, seemingly happily married surgeon who starts to rail against his own life. His devoted wife Lucie (Kristin Scott Thomas) is baffled by his behaviour.

He is discomfited by a younger woman (Leila Bekhti) who seems to be stalking him – although he becomes obsessed with her. The thriller elements are handled in perfunctory fashion but Auteuil, looking jowly and weatherbeaten, brings bafflement and pathos to his role as the man suddenly consumed by self-loathing.