Every once in a while a movie comes around that solely achieves its greatness due to its performances. It seems like French writer/director Guillaume Nicloux has made such a movie by design. The performances of Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu drive Valley of Love so much so that their characters are even called Isabelle and Gérard, and the actors are only credited with their last names (see also the poster, which has their names presented in larger type above the film’s title). It’s an acting reunion 35 years in the making, and boy have these screen presences evolved since Maurice Pialat’s 1980 film Loulou.

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