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Va Savoir [VHS] (2001)

Jeanne Balibar , Marianne Basler , Jacques Rivette  |  PG-13 |  VHS Tape
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeanne Balibar, Marianne Basler, Hélène de Fougerolles, Catherine Rouvel, Sergio Castellitto
  • Directors: Jacques Rivette
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: July 30, 2002
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWB0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,884 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars come tu mi vuoi June 13, 2002
I found this movie thoroughly enjoyable. The story line is simple and, in some way, rather unimportant - Camille, a well-known Parisian actress, is returning from Rome to act in front of her home audience in a play directed by her new lover Ugo. The play is Pirandello's Come Tu Mi Vuoi, a classical work (written for his lover Martha Abba) about a woman pinned between the yin and yang forces of reality and illusion. Throughout the film Rivette switches his camera between the play and Camille and Ugo's "reality" as if to ask us who are the real Camille and Ugo. What do they really want? What makes them tick? Can I, the spectator, enter their scriptless universe? Rivette (and his excellent actors) show us that delicateness can be robust and inventive, that desire for another can never be fulfilled and yet that the fulfillment does not really matter, because in the process of the struggle to achieve it we become alive and creative. What matters is style; style is substance. We are also treated to a brilliant depiction of the incestuous relationship between the Italians and the French and there is a delicious succession of nuances, hints and plays with the national stereotypes that brought many a smile to my face.
I can see why some - those used to Hollywood cliches with their happy endings and oh so predictable plots - might not find the movie to be that hot. Well, that's just too bad....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
At 154 (!) minutes, "Va Savoir" could use about about 40+ minutes of judicious editing. I'm open to French cinematic experiences - there's nothing like the thrill of discovering gems like "Read My Lips" or "The Dinner Game" - but at 2 hours 30 minutes plus, director Jacques Rivette here strains the patience of even the most hardened of cinephiles.

That's not to say it isn't fun to watch Jeanne Balibar ooze her way across the screen - she's such a silky-smooth, enchanting presence. And it's a treat to see Sergio Castellitto, who was spectacular in the winning 'Mostly Martha.' And how about an actor who can play leads in German (as he did in 'Martha') and Italian and French (he does both with aplomb here in 'Va Savoir')? This is one talented guy. But condensing the film down to a tighter 1 hr 45 minutes would have greatly increased the viewing experience.

Also, viewers should take care not to get freaked out during the first 1 - 2 minutes of the film. It's in Italian, and the filmmakers (or its distributors?) don't start the subtitling until Camille (Balibar, on stage in the film, emoting in Italian) steps off stage and out of character and says "In French now." And, viola, at that point the subtitles kick in. It's a cute little effect, but it'll drive you crazy with your clicker if you're not aware of it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Rare Kind of Pleasure June 25, 2002
This film runs 154 minutes which is about the length of most epics. This however is not an epic and though an excellent story(once it gets going)it will tire and try the patience of even the most devoted Rivette loyalists. I like this film and am glad to have stayed the course with it but Rivette could have given us filmgoers a little more to look at(most shots are interiors of hotels or apartments) for those 2 1/2 hours. That said this film in every other way succeeds and on a very high level.
The story: In true new wave fashion the movie has no real starting point. The characters are at first met at some distance as we see them in their professional roles as actors. Slowly we see them in more relaxed settings and slowly we get to know them. The key word is slowly because for all the attention that must be paid the true payoffs don't start coming til approximately half way through the movie. It takes Rivette awhile (perhaps too long) to set up all the various situations/relationships but once set up the movies pace picks up. The lead actress plays a leading actress and how you feel about this movie will largely be determined by how you feel about her because everything pivots around her. The actress is not particualarly attractive and it takes awhile to begin to find her fascinating but she is that. In love with her director and in love with her ex her main emotion is indeciciveness. Not passion nor desire or anything excting just uncertainty. Interestingly however the other characters are equally indecisive. They are all indecisive in a different way and that makes this film farcical even though you rarely find yourself laughing at this human comedy. What is most memorable about the picture is how well eacg character is brought to us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable French Romantic Comedy January 2, 2008
This French romantic comedy kept my interest mostly due to the twists of the various relationships and the overall fine performances by the cast. The plot/story was hard for me to follow until 30-40 minutes into the movie due to 2 factors: (1) the frequent changes between the scenes of the touring play and the off-stage lives of the main characters with the other members of the cast and (2) the very slow pace of the first part of the story. I found Jeanne Balibar's & Sergio Castellito's performances to be excellent, and that helped me to accept more easily the ambiguity of the story line. I liked the film so much that when I finished watching it once, I watched the first 30-40 minutes of it again so I could enjoy that part of the film more than I did on my first viewing. While that worked for me, I consider it to be a shortcoming of the film in general. I also think that I would have enjoyed the film more if it had been carefully edited to be about 30 minutes shorter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Frothy French Rom-Com
This French ensemble romantic comedy revolves around six people who lie, cheat and steal their way around Paris over the course of several increasingly zany days, culminating in a... Read more
Published on December 12, 2007 by kaduzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable Internationals, Quirky Love Story
Va Savoir is one of my favorite international films. The humor alone always gets me. It's not a comedy nor a "dramedy." It's just about human relationships. Read more
Published on January 3, 2007 by Mrs. 13
3.0 out of 5 stars A good film nearly undone by one atrocious performance
Va Savoir is one of those films I might have liked a lot more had it featured a different leading lady, but Jeanne Balibar's listless and affected performance - like some... Read more
Published on July 20, 2005 by Trevor Willsmer
1.0 out of 5 stars Characters create un-Rivette-ing film.
One could consider this film like a cinematic whole-wheat pancake. Your film comes topped with butter, syrup, and all the fruits you can think of (the characters of the film). Read more
Published on November 16, 2004 by A. Gyurisin
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie of 2001
When I saw "Va Savoir" in theaters, I loved it so much that I stayed in my seat for the next showing (with the film's lethargic 154-min running time, that's around 5... Read more
Published on March 8, 2004 by Vinny Mac
1.0 out of 5 stars VA GARBAGZE IS MORE LIKE IT
Published on November 15, 2003 by CAVEMANAL
1.0 out of 5 stars I agree.... so boring I had to turn it off...
Now I've seen quite a good share of foreign films. Maybe it is my ignorance on theatrical names and topics in the film, but I could not follow any of it. Read more
Published on July 4, 2003 by mitzigg04
1.0 out of 5 stars Translation: "B-O-R-I-N-G"
When I saw Va Savoir in a local arthouse, it had been nowhere near the top of my must-see list. But what could it hurt, I wondered innocently, before spending the better part of my... Read more
Published on July 20, 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars va savoir... who knows or go figure?
I have one criterion for judging movies: Good ones, like good music, good food, and good sex get better the more you do them.I didn't say perfect. Read more
Published on May 9, 2002 by gd
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