Entertainment

in the head of Philip Roth, by Quim Casas

In the first sequence, a woman (Lea Seydoux) is presented to the viewer. She says she is 33 years old, trapped in a loveless marriage, albeit with an adorable four-year-old daughter, and having an affair with Philip, a well-known American novelist who lives in London with his wife. Later we see the English woman (we will never know her name) in the apartment that Philip (Denys Podalydes) used as a workplace. He asks her to close her eyes and describe everything. The woman does so and ends by saying that on her desk there are only books about and by Jews.

It is undeniable that the fictional Philip is Philip Roth, the author of the novel on which the film is based, ‘Engaño’ (1990). It was the first in which Roth became the center of the plot. Him, his realities and his fantasies. Although the most important relationship is the one he maintains with the English woman, the story explores other women in the storyteller’s life. Are they real loves or are they the ideas that the writer comes up with and pours into a notebook that his wife discovers? Arnaud Desplechin he has remained true to himself by being true to Roth, and that is a very difficult thing to achieve. His commitment to the word, and the work with the performers so that that word is not rhetorical, tiresome or merely representative, results in a magnificent film about the obsessions and fears of both those who create and those who are created.

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