Tavernier’s Mirror? Wooden varnish. Interpoems. The closest we’ll ever get to a Renoir painting come to life.
Note: For those of you following at home, this is the second Tavernier film I’ve seen. And both have been visual and emotional knockouts.
Also, note how Tavernier uses that same method as Bergman (many of his films, but particularly Cries and Whispers) in telling the story of past relationships merely by showing how they are in the present (with sufficient references, remembrances, etc). And then at last culminating in a final flashback scene which really just “knocks the emotional stuffing” out of or into you as it were. The phrase “blows the lid off” also comes to mind. In this technique, I feel the Bergman film does better by waiting and waiting and waiting until the very end to drop that bomb. Whereas the Tavernier film has that scene early on with the wife (as ghost, memory, recollection—either way—she’s there), which in my opinion, lessens the emotional power of the final flashback scene.