In one symbolic scene in this French sub titled movie the characters, fueled by curiosity, determinedly follow a sleep walker to find out where he is going. It turns out he is not sleepwalking he is just out for the pleasure of a stroll in the garden. If that is all that is wanted from a movie then the curious can find a watchable 85 minutes of it here.
The director, Michaël Dacheux, deliberately avoids showing action directly. It is all about the incidental occasions that surround the action. We do not see Martin (Paul Delbreil) fall in and out of love with Lea (Adèle Csech) we see them meeting awkwardly after it is all over. We don’t see Martin fail as a film maker, we just hear from a friend that his movie has been rejected, or see an old school friend apologize for not making it to his movie showing. Rather than following Martin falling in love with a man we only see him having sex with him and then discussing over coffee afterwards how “I never thought I could fall in love with a boy”. When Lea goes on to find a new man it is mainly off camera, though there are glimpses of their first meeting as she guides tourists through Paris. The sights of Paris stay invisible, but we see the road signs to the sights or hear from a tourist that the home of a philosopher, a poet or a painter is being passed.
Once the frustration of missing the important events recedes then the banal pleasure of seeing how they fit into people’s lives takes over. The acting is natural, fluid and low key. There are no scenes of heartbreak, despair or pain just people wading on in the melancholy flow of life. With no overriding story to tell there is just life to be lived. It is divided into four chapters by the seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter) in an endless loop. Lea’s new boyfriend talks about creating music as “a harmonization of parallel voices” and the way the movie is constructed is similarly of petal thin slices of life piled on each other over and over again.
Love Blooms is not for everyone. Or even many people. It only narrowly avoids being pretentious by being low key. It is as pleasantly uneventful as an afternoon of gardening and requires less effort but the downside is that nothing bears much fruit.