Exploring psychotherapy, boundaries and obsession, Justine Triet’s film deliciously portrays the creative crisis of a shrink-wannabe-author, who steals her actress patient’s story for a novel.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
Writer-director Justine Triet explores psychotherapy, boundaries and obsession in Sibyl, one of the four films in competition at Cannes this year directed by a woman.
“Sibyl (a jittery Virginie Efira) is a psychotherapist so driven to write a novel that she drops her clients to buy herself some extra time. She’s barely started to contend with writers’ block… when a new client finds her way to her. Young actress Madeleine (an energized Adèle Exarchopoulos) calls Sibyl in tears over an accidental pregnancy; the father is Igor (Gaspard Ulliel), the dashing lead with whom she’s set to star in a new romance directed by revered German auteur Mika (Toni Erdmann star Sandra Hüller, NZIFF16). And if that wasn’t thorny enough, Mika and Igor used to be an item as well… Sibyl, however, sees opportunity: hitting a covert record button as Madeleine spills her woes… Sibyl begins the sneaky process of transforming her patient’s story into the material for a novel…
Sibyl becomes a brighter, sillier, film-within-a-film spoof of the Woody Allen variety, and sends Sibyl careening further into a black hole of drunken resentment and self-destruction.” — Eric Kohn, IndieWire
“Triet manages to build a complex, multi-dimensional portrait of a talented woman under the influence… who wants to have it all – career, family, creative inspiration and a good sex life – and winds up falling victim to her own ambition... It’s about as French as you can get, to a point that feels borderline absurd in places, and yet Triet handles the material gracefully and altogether skilfully, directing star Virginie Efira to one of her most impressive all-encompassing performances to date.” — Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter