Happened to have watched this recently. Thought it was fantastic, as I've come to expect from Pialat:
"I'm one of the best in the world, I'm telling you."
Woo, the king of the quotidian on the Criterion Channel! Had me at "Distribue par Les Films Corona." Pialat infuses his searing but tender portrait of the end of a relationship with such raw humanity that potentially trivial material comes to life with the force of classical tragedy. The camera is fluid but unostentatious, the lighting mercurial (bathed in the interplay of understated blue, white, black, and red hues), and while shots linger the rhythm feels brisk and relentless (few other directors seem to have as intuitive a sense of where and when to begin and end a shot). Not to mention the incisive, often vicious dialogue, dry humor, and meticulous characterizations of damaged everyday people. My favorite director working today, by a wide margin, is Hong Sang Soo, and in dissecting the origins of his approach, people often cite Antonioni or Rohmer, but Pialat seems like a closer spiritual successor; I'm thrilled to have started exploring his work in the last few years. As an aside, the age gap here is similar to that of my girlfriend and me with the genders reversed, which added an interesting layer for me -- some of the exchanges ("one isn't happy with you; you create anxiety") hit pretty close to home, heh heh.