Movie review: "One Day You'll Understand"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Two of the best faces in French cinema appear in the latest from French-Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai.

One belongs to Jeanne Moreau, playing Rivka, a Jewish survivor of the Nazi occupation of France who's conflicted between wanting to forget the ugliness of the past and commemorate the heritage she let go to survive with her Catholic husband.

Emmanuelle Devos as the wife of Rivka's son, who's fixated on reconstructing what happened to his Jewish grandparents, possesses the other.

If only the film were truly worthy of them. As it is, Gitai practically wastes Devos as he focuses on husband Victor (Hippolyte Giradot) and his searing questions about his family's complicity with the Nazis, leading to a trip to the hotel where his grandparents were arrested and a horribly conceived flashback. (Gitai fixes this misstep somewhat in a final scene that's more effective in its clinical remove.)

Moreau, at least, makes the most of her time on screen, providing a grounded emotional consistency that's lacking in the scenes without her. And the few moments she shares with Devos are easily among the film's best.

"One Day You'll Understand"

Grade: C+