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also known as L'amour caché

Hidden Love2010

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  • 3.3
Acclaimed actress Isabelle Huppert stars in this downbeat tale of a suicidal mental patient trapped in an endless maze of despair following the death of her only child. Initially raised in an acrid household, later locked into a dicey marriage and ultimately saddled with a daughter (played by Melanie Laurent - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS) she never wanted, Danielle attempts to take her own life multiple times before doctors are left with no other choice than to lock her away for the sake of her own safety. Not even sympathetic psychiatrist Dr. Neilson (Greta Scacchi) seems able to break through to the stoic patient whose hollow gaze that hints that any hope for salvation has long been lost.

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"[Isabelle] Huppert is ideally cast as an emotionally entombed mother haunted by memories of her only daughter..." - Robert Koehler, Variety


2 members like this review

This is beautiful. I have always loved Isabelle Huppert. And here she is once again, communicating so much with just her face and body. There are real world actions here, but they are not nearly as important as the thoughts and feelings of the characters, misunderstood or not, well displayed by the actors. This film deserves a conversation, whether with the friends or strangers you watch it with, or with yourself. There is much thinking here, much feeling. Talk about it.

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Member Reviews (11)

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top reviewer

This is beautiful. I have always loved Isabelle Huppert. And here she is once again, communicating so much with just her face and body. There are real world actions here, but they are not nearly as important as the thoughts and feelings of the characters, misunderstood or not, well displayed by the actors. This film deserves a conversation, whether with the friends or strangers you watch it with, or with yourself. There is much thinking here, much feeling. Talk about it.

2 members like this review

Very touching, profound, thought provoking film about motherhood, and what happens to one woman who simply does not feel maternal love from the time her baby is born. Fascinating how it shows the destruction of the child not to have a parent capable of loving her. Isabelle Huppert is simply perfect in the raw, ferocious and direct performance. Subtle and moving acting performance.

DMillan

1 member likes this review
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Alessandro Capone's movie plods forward with determination but little to no real understanding regarding what it is intended to be about. A tragic waste of two very talented film artists.

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Another brilliant, knockout performance by Isabelle Huppert, one of the greatest actors in the history of cinema.

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Alessandro Capone's Hidden Love (2010) is a very well executed, and thought provoking film, with great acting by the whole cast, and especially by Huppert. But as a film fanatic with a BA/MA in Psychology, I just can't buy this film as an expression Of Cinematic Realism in any way, because the storyline just doesn't portray severe mental illness, life in a mental hospital, or the behavior of a professional psychiatrist in very realistic terms.

Examples: 1) The type of severe psychosis exhibited by Danielle just doesn't "magically" disappear like it did at the end of this film, even given a "life changing" event, like the sudden death of Danielle's daughter. 2) A mental hospital would have a psychotic patient like Danielle in a monitored "locked ward", and not roaming free having violent episodes in the hallway, and having access to pills in the way that this film portrays Danielle. 3) The portrayal of the "sympathetic" Dr Nielsen getting so emotionally involved with the psychotic Danielle is unreal, because you learn in Psych 101 that a therapist who becomes emotionally involved with a patient loses his therapeutic effectiveness. From a Realist perspective, this is just a psychiatric film from outer space.

However, this film does work very well for me as an Avant Garde portrayal of feminist maternal anxiety.

A feminist interpretation of this film works because ALL the main characters are women, and also because it passes the Bechdel Test many multiple times ad nauseam.

The Avant Garde angle works because of the elements of radical cinematography, a couple of weird symbolic scenes toward the end of the film showing Danielle with her now dead daughter, and some elements of radical editing in the film.

This in no way means that I would necessarily buy into the message of such an Avant Garde feminist interpretation of this film, but I would accept as being within the scope of the creative freedom of the filmmaker.

Isabelle Huppert gives a fantastic, believable, and somewhat technically accurate portrayal of a psychotic woman. However, having already viewed a number of Huppert's films, I would say that she seems to be attracted to roles that portray somewhat deranged women, in general.

This film definitely did give me much reason for pause and reflection. It is a very well thought out, and provocative film.

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top reviewer

Two memorable lines in this film, and not verbatim: 1) There are no parents, there are just children, and children, and children. 2) It would have ended sooner or later, as most love stories do. Neither very hopeful, but they encapsulate the cold rain that this story leaves you out in. And it's hard to see clearly in the rain.

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everyone is wonderful _Isabelle is totally fucked up Melanie is totally wonderful_it's all so bizarre

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Very deep psychological drama, well acted and beautifully shot.

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Tragédie, souffrance et désespoir. Que pourrait-on demander plus? Avoir pensé cette chose, maintenant, je vais aller pleurer sans cesse. C'est Huppert en mode classique.

Another courageous performance from Isabelle Huppert. Thought-provoking and not for the casual movie goer.

More mood than movement. I love the musings on motherhood that pervade the film and give it purpose but I wish that there had been more of a characterization for Isabelle Huppert and Melanie Laurent other than tortured mother and tortured daughter. But perhaps therein lies the film's ultimate meaning: that there can exist a distance between parent and child that is never fully able to be expressed or explained.