Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël) (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël)2018

Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël) (2018)



Critic Consensus: Ismael's Ghosts unites an excellent cast -- and their valiant efforts are often enough to counter its somewhat confused and disjointed story.

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Movie Info

Twenty-one years ago, she ran away. And twenty-one years later, Carlotta (Marion Cotillard) is back from the void. But Ismael (Mathieu Amalric) has been busy rebuilding a life for himself with Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and working on his next feature film. As Ismael's trials and tribulations unfurl, so too do those of his film's protagonist: the idle, funny and reckless diplomat Ivan Dédalus (Louis Garrel). The character is a nod to the ghost of another of Desplechin's creations, the brother of Paul Dédalus, three-time hero of "My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument," "A Christmas Tale" and "My Golden Days." A film within a film--and then some, Desplechin layers narrative upon narrative. With ISMAEL'S GHOSTS, Desplechin returns once more to the past, creating film after film as his way of stepping back in time, and proving yet again that his brand of genius lies in his ability to find light in the darkest of places.

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Critic Reviews for Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël)

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (34)

Unfortunately all the metafictional layering only highlights the lack of engagement at the center of the story, the three stars acting up a storm but barely acknowledging each other.

April 17, 2020 | Full Review…

Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg momentarily bring verve to proceedings.

June 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Decked out in the classy colours of the high-end French art film, Ismael's Ghosts is probably easier to enjoy if you make no attempt to fit its disjointed units together.

June 8, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Like one of the thin-skinned, self-sabotaging protagonists that inhabit his films, director Arnaud Desplechin takes a promising premise and turns it into a spiralling vortex of shouty navel-gazing.

June 3, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

This director's cut might smack of self-indulgence, but it also says much about love and loss and the language of an artform that flirts with realism while remaining an illusion.

June 1, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

It's rarely boring, but golly it's indulgent.

June 1, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
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