Ghost River Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A prostitute working the streets of Nice must leave town with her estranged daughter.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    This amazing tour-de-force presents Huppert in a role, which is equal parts abrasive and vulnerable, exasperating and pathetic, monstrous and saintly.
  2. Huppert shows everything to us, and it's fascinating.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Huppert's mastery aside, this is a European Art Film writ large, complete with classical music, gorgeously filmed landscapes, expository voiceovers, poetic transitions and only a ghost's footprint of a story.
  4. Unfortunately lacks much in the way of compelling narrative or credible characterizations, but it once again reaffirms Huppert's place in the pantheon of French film actors.
  5. 50
    The only conceivable reason to immerse oneself in this inexplicable release is, of course, Huppert. Gravely, she accepts the challenge of delivering a coherent performance in a wildly incoherent role.
  6. Expressive touches are finally inadequate. Ms. Huppert's hard work notwithstanding, they don't take the place of psychological texture and narrative weight.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Truly, there is nothing the woman (Isabelle Huppert) can't do - except save "Promise'' from the valley of the shadow of bad French movie pretensions.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. ChadS.
    Apr 20, 2007
    Flowers are a constant motif in "La Vie Promise" because Sylvia's grandmother adored them. Too bad the old woman didn't make pina Flowers are a constant motif in "La Vie Promise" because Sylvia's grandmother adored them. Too bad the old woman didn't make pina colidas when Sylvia was just a percocious urchin(and not a destitute hooker/runaway mom) so her future adult grandchild could slam into a fruit cart(instead of a flower stand). If the annoying voiceovers makes you shrug your shoulders(Isabelle Huppert sometimes acts with just her eyes; she don't need no stinkin' voiceovers), the overripe symbolism(Sylvia no longer embodies any of her grandmother's favorite blooms) will make you want to chant, "USA! USA!..." "La Vie Promise" is about an older, wiser(and less crazy) French woman who decides it's time to find the husband and son she left behind. But Sylvia is conscience-stricken only after her daughter Laurence(sired by another man) kills one of her johns, and flees Nice(where she turned tricks for a living) for the open road; daughter in-tow then daughter let go(they part at a pasture), mainly because she'd be a third wheel when Sylvia finds her family. This is the difficult issue that "La Vie Promise" ducks. The voiceover tries to suture Sylvia's parental dedication for her bastard daughter(Maud Forget), reassuring us that she'd be welcome during her reverie about familial reunification, but we have our doubts. If Joshua(Pascal Greggory) was a murderer(he's a fugitive from the law, but non-violent), her persistence on finding the men in her past in lieu of Laurence would be more pronounced. Expand