A French director and his English actress muse used to be a couple in the '60s, but due to his indiscretions, they broke up. They meet again in the present day and the sparks fly.

1 Jan 2009 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2015 - 10:24 AM

Co-written and directed by Antoine de Caunes , Twice Upon a Time is a simple romantic comedy with bite.

The title sequence cleverly reveals through still images, the love affair between famed London actress Alice and lauded French director Louis. The couple met in the 70's and embarked on a passionate 5-year affair, which abruptly ended when Alice walked out of the relationship.

Thirty years on, they are once again thrown together when Alice is asked to present Louis with a lifetime achievement award. Louis is still deeply in love with his muse and has never gotten over her… Alice on the other hand is still full of resentment and rage.

The dialogue is laced with faced paced repartee as Alice and Louis do their best to undermine each other and the humour is at times screwball in flavour. The script is a little clichéd, but its two stars are so witty and acerbic that all predictability can be forgiven.

The magnificent Charlotte Rampling is impeccable as Alice. It comes as no surprise that the part was written for her. She oozes style and charm and is breathtakingly cutting in her deadpan reactions. Rampling is beautifully matched by French actor Jean Rochefort . And their two performances, together with the great Ian Richardson really do elevate this film.

I enjoyed seeing such masterful actors at work … 3.5 stars. Twice Upon a Time is out now.