A philo­soph­i­cal French trav­el­ogue

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES REVIEWS - — Kim­ber My­ers

Though the gay dat­ing app Grindr serves as the im­pe­tus for this thought­ful French road movie, “4 Days in France” is about a va­ri­ety of hu­man con­nec­tions that tran­scend phys­i­cal en­coun­ters. In the drama’s first mo­ments, Pierre (Pascal Cervo) qui­etly leaves his lover Paul (Arthur Igual) by the light of his phone. Guided by po­ten­tial hookups’ prox­im­ity ac­cord­ing to the app, Pierre drives out of Paris and sees a va­ri­ety of peo­ple as he wan­ders across the coun­try.

Pierre lets de­sire and chance dic­tate where he goes, and each per­son he en­coun­ters adds depth to his ex­pe­ri­ence. Mean­while, Paul tracks him, fol­low­ing be­hind and just miss­ing his part­ner at each town he vis­its.

At al­most 21⁄2 hours, “4 Days in France” is a me­an­der­ing jour­ney, driven less by plot and more by the episodic na­ture of Pierre’s trav­els. The film lingers on driv­ing scenes for min­utes at a time, al­low­ing the CDs in Pierre’s car to pro­vide the only sound­track.

Writer-di­rec­tor Jérôme Rey­baud has crafted an as­sured film for his nar­ra­tive-fea­ture de­but. It has a strong vi­sion, even as its pro­tag­o­nist sim­ply wan­ders across France. Cine­matog­ra­pher Sabine Lancelin has pre­vi­ously worked with Éric Rohmer and Ma­noel de Oliveira, and she brings an ex­pe­ri­enced eye to both the ex­pan­sive land­scapes and the in­ti­mate en­coun­ters. This is a beau­ti­fully shot film whose vi­su­als work well with its philo­soph­i­cal ap­proach to life and re­la­tion­ships.

“4 Days in France.” In French with English sub­ti­tles. Not rated. Run­ning time: 2 hours, 21 min­utes. Play­ing: Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts, Bev­erly Hills.

Cin­ema Guild

PASCAL CERVO wan­ders the French coun­try­side on a road trip out­side Paris in Jérôme Rey­baud’s film.

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