I first saw the French actress Sandrine Kiberlain in Mademoiselle Chambon (2009), and was much impressed by her understated and nuanced performance.

Thus, I looked forward to seeing Yves Caumon’s current release The Bird, in which Kiberlain plays the central role.

Kiberlain’s character is that of a single woman, who lives alone and appears detached from her co-workers and from society in general. A melancholic film, Kiberlain again delivers an understated and moving performance, a finely tuned balance between depersonalisation and almost palpable sadness. We gradually learn of the loss that has transported her to this so very alone and solitary place.

A bird befriends her, both a distraction and a projection of her loss.

But, beautiful as the movie is, there is at times a sense of melancholy and sadness overdone, and even contrived…the pathetic fallacy of rain, the reenactment of Virginia Woolf and stones in the river, the heavy symbolism of the bird, and ashes, and scattering. And the difficult to believe ending…

Perhaps plausibility is not the point here. Kiberlain is an amazing actress and adds so much depth to the role, and the cinematography is wonderful.

I remain glad that I experienced it.