Picks and Pans Review: I Married a Shadow

updated 09/12/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/12/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The plotting is most improbable: A pregnant woman, played by Nathalie (The Return of Martin Guerre) Baye, one of France's finest actresses, is suddenly abandoned by her lover, Richard Bohringer (the wonderful hero in Diva). She jumps on a train headed south and is befriended by another pregnant woman and the woman's husband. (The couple is on its way to meet the husband's parents.) Suddenly the train crashes—and in the ensuing chaos, Baye is mistaken for the other pregnant woman who, along with her husband, has been killed. That's only the beginning. The grief-stricken in-laws, having never met their daughter-in-law but believing she has survived the crash, come to visit Baye. They convince her to come home with them (her child has been born by this time) until she has recovered. Baye agrees—and in doing so decides to pretend she is in fact their daughter-in-law. The rest of the movie is pure Falcon Crest. Baye discovers that her new in-laws own a large vineyard in the Bordeaux section of France. Their surviving son, Francis Huster, is so smitten with Baye that he ditches his girlfriend, the ravishing Victoria Abril. Then we are treated to the usual mush—the lovers walking in the golden sunset, the lovers walking in the vineyard, the lovers swimming at a distant lake, the lovers running into each other's arms at the least provocation. You half expect Jane Wyman or Joan Collins to come walking in at any minute to stir things up. Instead, Baye's first lover suddenly reappears and demands money in exchange for his silence. Soap opera fans will love it. But the main reason to watch this movie is Baye herself—she's always interesting, even in the midst of such silliness. (In French with English subtitles) (No Rating)

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