99 minutes – Drama
Release date: April 18, 2008
DVD Release date: July 22, 2008
Canadian distributor: Seville Pictures
Adapted from the novel by the late Matt Cohen by Jefferson Lewis and Paolo Barzman, Emotional Arithmetic probes the intricate possibilities of love and madness and the shadows the past throws upon the present. Shot in Québec, the film portrays three children bonding in a detention camp on the outskirts of Paris during World War II. They separate after surviving the ordeal but reunite for the first time forty years later in the bucolic setting of a renovated farm. Melanie Lansing Winters (Susan Sarandon) is now a beautiful woman in her 50’s who balances her precarious emotional state with an innate sharp, deprecating wit. Christopher Lewis (Gabriel Byrne) is a British novelist haunted by the survivor`s eternal question, “Why was I saved?” Jakob Bronski (Max Von Sydow) is a heroic dissident and veteran of a Soviet psychiatric hospital who has twice lost and saved his family. And David Winters, (Christopher Plummer) plays Melanie’s husband, whose compulsive infidelity has left him with a marriage in tatters and an embittered son (Roy Dupuis). On a balmy summer evening, the past explodes into the present in an unexpected and tender love story and its fatal consequences.
Also see: A review of Emotional Arithmetic