An expert in depicting unusual relationships, François Ozon’s latest film tells a story in which a woman’s death triggers her husband’s doubts about his sexuality and leads him to strike up a friendship with his late wife’s best friend. Romain Duris plays the role of the man who goes from calling himself David to become Virginia in a tale that Ozon describes as a “transgender film.”
Ozon sweetens the theme of the film with his talent for subtle comedy and skillful direction of actors. “I really felt like making a popular film that people would like. I started writing it when the demonstrations began In France against the rights of gay couples. I didn’t want to sound didactic, but I wanted people to understand what it’s like to be a different kind of couple compared to being a traditional one. I wanted to talk about desire and the construction of identity,” Ozon said.
For his part, Romain Duris offers a magnificent performance as a man/woman with a transformation that is full of subtle nuances. “What I aimed to create was a creature that has no gender anymore, so that as a member of the audience you forget whether he/she is really feminine or really masculine,” the actor explains. “It’s all about opening the door and trusting my feminine side.”