Villa Amalia (PG)

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The Independent Culture

Isabelle Huppert supplies another square yard of enigmatic twitchiness as a Frenchwoman in flight from her own life.

Prompted by the discovery of her partner's infidelity, Ann (Huppert) sells their apartment and hits the road with a single weekend bag. Writer-director Benoît Jacquot shares with his heroine an abrupt, restless style, exiting a scene before it's finished and leaving us in confusion. A quite pleasant confusion, for sure: as Ann searches for a new home off the coast of Italy, the camera lulls us into a holiday fugue of breathtaking panoramas and postcard sunsets. Whatever meaning resides here is shielded by Huppert's unreadable expressions and mannerly vagueness: Ann's friendship with a Parisian bachelor (Jean-Hugues Anglade) and later with a soulful Italian beauty (Maya Sansa) are almost incidental to her journey of reinvention. She seems more passionate about walking and swimming than she does about any relationship.