A detailed look at what can drive couples apart and keep them together, Errance, Damien Odoul's second feature film, is a heartfelt and cinematically measured examination of the lasting evanescence of love as told through reserved and moving looks at Lou — model Laetitia Casta as a middleclass, by the sea housewife — and her interactions with her young son, César, and her increasingly unavailable, unemployed and alcoholic husband Jacques (Benoît Magimel). This almost nostalgic point of view creates a naïve, unobjective, child-like perception that exists without impact, other than for the power of simple observation, which provides stark views of Lou, her dedication to her husband and family, and Jacques and his slide into alcoholism and self-pity. Forced to turn to crime to cover expenses, Jacques soon becomes quieter and increasingly more self-loathing, leaving Lou and Cesar to fend for themselves at their seaside home. Eventually, after being drunkenly attacked by Jacques, who has been sleeping with a local whore as well, Lou finally leaves and moves back to the city with her family, until Jacques, sober but not completely clean, comes calling and persuades her to move back with him into a house in the city, with the hopes of having a family one last time. But Jacques' shady employment catches up with him and he soon finds himself yielding to his vices and small town criminal lifestyle once again, with a shattered and mature Lou preparing to leave for the last time just as a tragic ending sweeps the film away. Assured and stunningly realised performances by both leads, including a brilliantly subtle Casta — who feels like a young housewife trying to stay in style by looking like Brigitte Bardot — and the young and earnest Cesar (Mattéo Tardito), and a somehow sympathetic Jacques, creates a tenderness and sadness that permeates the film. And the atmosphere is freely framed by Odoul's camera, which has a sharp eye for the brief moments in between and during the intense times. And his studious pacing, which balances the humanity of the film with a simple, sympathetic view of the natural surroundings, reflects a powerlessness to control the unfolding situations of a sad childhood that was perhaps never allowed to be. (Morgane/ARTE Cinéma/Exception/Wild Bunch)