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Summary: Jean, his loving wife and son live a simple, happy life. At his son's homeroom teacher Madamoiselle Chambon's request, he volunteers as substitute teacher and starts to fall for her delicate and elegant charm. His ordinary life between family and work starts to falter. (imdb)
A sound, well-made movie that has grace. Not slow, just... calm. The people feel real, the drama is not hyped, and nobody's particularly in a hurry. Yet the scenes and the shots all feel like they're the right length. Allow me to stress that this isn't a "nice" movie, either... pain goes right along with the sweeter moments, as this is an honest movie, you understand. Another plus is the sincere appreciation of classical music
This is exactly the type of high-quality personal drama French cinema does so well. The settings are so calm and peaceful that all the attention falls upon the two characters. Their relationship is the film; it is confused, shy, conflicted, frank, real. No need for explosive drama, lustful scenes of passion, subplots or emotional manipulation. The desire burns quietly on the screen behind a veil of inhibition. Understated and low-key, it's one of the best romance films in recent memory.
Other films have tackled the same subject with more remarkable results but this simple French drama is, nevertheless, a gracefully restrained and nuanced take on the nature of unexpected passion in the most inconvenient time.