Chicago European Union Film Festival 2018
Chicago premiere!

Ismael's Ghosts

Les Fantômes d'Ismaël

2017, Arnaud Desplechin, France, 135 min. With Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Show Times

  • Sat, Mar 17th 5:30pm
  • Thu, Mar 22nd 6:00pm

"Exhilarating, overflowing mindf___ of a movie...the film's sheer scope and ambition, as well as the panache of its execution, render it intoxicating and immensely fun to get lost in." - Giovanni Marchini Camia, The Film Stage

"A freewheeling gambit, hurtling in multiple directions at once, and it's thrilling to watch Desplechin try to juggle them all...Cotillard is particularly enthralling." - Eric Kohn, Indiewire

One of the most important and original French filmmakers of his generation, Arnaud Desplechin (A CHRISTMAS TALE, MY GOLDEN DAYS) is known for rich, multileveled films that combine stylistic flair with deep character exploration. ISMAEL'S GHOSTS is his most extravagant and ambitious film yet, a wild mélange of 8½ and VERTIGO, with a dash of spy thriller thrown in. The main character is Ismaël Vuillard (Almaric in his seventh Desplechin film), a filmmaker on the verge of a creative breakdown as he struggles to complete a tale of diplomatic intrigue supposedly based on the exploits of his late brother Ivan (Louis Garrel). Off the set, stability is provided by Ismaël's lover Sylvia (Gainsbourg), but that stability shatters when his first wife Carlotta (Cotillard), missing for 20 years and presumed dead, unexpectedly shows up. Is she real, a ghost, or an extension of Ismaël's imagination? Everything is up for grabs in this personal, playful, and utterly unpredictable take on the instability of identity. This director's cut is twenty minutes longer than the version that played as the opening night film of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. In French with English subtitles. Courtesy of Magnolia Films. DCP digital widescreen. (MR)

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