I like all of Ozons films and his directorial style, so my expectations for the film were quite high. But while watching it I was very disappointed to see all these uninteresting people having uninteresting conversations, being more or less fake, and out of touch with themselves and their surroundings. And while the film went on everything became more and more dull and pointless. The story told in reverse, the end at the beginning, and their beginning at the end, you saw life stations of the protagonists, basically everything that went wrong with them, their small and big lies, their misconceptions of others and themselves, etc. The ending was the protagonists first encounter at a beach with a beautiful sunset, a parody of the terrible things to come, and because the viewer had already witnessed them, I couldn't help to be repulsed by the people, and the filmmakers seemingly cynical attitude.
But after reflecting upon the film, the meaning of its structure, and Ozon's intentions, I discovered the purpose of all this for myself. Like all Ozon films it is about liberation from the boundaries that we ourselves and our society sets us, and the path to self-discovery and -understanding. The beginning of the film shows us exactly this. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi walks out on her husband after a horrible last encounter and the preceding divorce, ay woman who has been through hell, but has freed herself from it- and a hell she has helped to build up herself! In the course of the film we see how it had come to this point. Like in all Ozon films, the director doesn't comment on the events, shows them like an observer, doesn't judge the persons, the viewer has to actively ingage in the film and develop his standpoint, but in the end gives his moral statement through the work as a whole. Everything you have to know is there, but you have to connect the dots by yourself. An uncompromising dissection of the (french) middle-class, that confronts the exasperated viewer with a devastating account of a group of ordinary people, who's false pretences have nearly crushed their lives, that leaves a bitter aftertaste, but is ultimately rewarding. Though the conclusions everybody draws may differ, nobody wants to experience any of this by themselves. In the end Ozon has, through the depiction of everyday occurrences, succeded in confronting the people with themselves , and if necessary, to rethink their life.