Va savoir

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Va savoir
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJacques Rivette
Written byPascal Bonitzer
Christine Laurent
Jacques Rivette
Luigi Pirandello "Come tu mi vuoi" (play, uncredited)
Produced byMaurice Tinchant
StarringJeanne Balibar
Sergio Castellitto
Marianne Basler
Jacques Bonnaffé
Hélène de Fougerolles
Bruno Todeschini
CinematographyWilliam Lubtchansky
Edited byNicole Lubtchansky
Distributed byLes Films du Losange
Release date
  • 16 May 2001 (2001-05-16)
Running time
154 minutes
220 minutes (director's cut)
Budget$4.4 million[1]
Box office$2 million[2]

Va savoir (Who Knows?) is a 2001 French romantic comedy-drama film directed by Jacques Rivette. It stars Jeanne Balibar, Sergio Castellitto, Marianne Basler, Hélène de Fougerolles, and Catherine Rouvel. The widely distributed theatrical version is 154 minutes. It was entered into the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.[3]

The story of the three couples in the film sometimes parallels the Pirandello play[4] in which the two principals, Camille and Ugo, are performing each night and follows the structure of a Goldoni comedy, in which couples undergo misunderstandings and attraction for others until the final resolution. In the film's ending, the three couples waltz in a circle to the tune Senza fine (Endless), implying that the dance of young people in love will go on forever.


After three years away, the actress Camille returns to Paris in an Italian troupe run by her husband Ugo, who is touring Europe with an Italian-language production of a Luigi Pirandello play Come Tu Mi Vuoi (As You Want Me). Camille is nervous because she still has feelings over leaving her lover Pierre, who she tracks down in a park. He seems unchanged and has still not finished writing his doctoral thesis on Martin Heidegger.

While searching privately for a lost Goldoni play, Ugo runs into the attractive Dominique in a library, who advises him to approach a collector. The collector sends him to the private library inherited by Dominique's mother, who warns him that books have disappeared. She is happy for him to browse and Dominique helps him. When she takes him to her bedroom, however, her jealous half-brother Arthur intervenes (it is later revealed that he is her secret lover). Dominique warns Ugo that it is Arthur who steals books to sell.

Pierre asks Camille and Ugo to dinner at his flat with his lover Sonia, which proves a disaster as the nervous Camille drinks too much and the jealous Ugo mocks Pierre. When Camille goes round the next day to apologise to Sonia, the two women begin to form a rapport. Now able to be friends with Sonia, Camille is still worried that she has not closed things with Pierre. When she goes to see him, he locks her in a room. Camille escapes by a skylight and barely makes the theatre curtain call of the performance, which Sonia attends. Afterwards in a bar, Arthur pretends to pursue Sonia while taking an impression of her very valuable diamond ring, which he later replaces with a worthless duplicate.

In despair at this deceit, Sonia asks Camille for help. She goes round to Arthur's flat and offers him a simple deal: he can choose to either spend the night with her and never see her afterwards, or to have her walk out on the spot. He opts for the night and, once he is asleep, she searches until she finds the ring in the kitchen. Ugo then calls on Pierre and challenges him to a duel, place and weapons to be his choice. When Pierre accepts, he finds that the place is over the flies in the theatre and the weapons are a bottle of vodka each. As Pierre is the first to fall over, Ugo wins.

In the meantime, Dominique has found the Goldoni play, not in the library but in the kitchen among her mother's cookbooks. When she brings it to Ugo, roaring drunk after his duel, he says it is so valuable that she must keep it and just give him a photocopy. Camille turns up with the ring and offers it back to Sonia, who says Camille has earned it and must keep it. Reunited and now rich, Camille and Ugo look forward to the next stop on their tour.



  1. ^ "Va savoir (Who Knows?) (2001) - JPBox-Office".
  2. ^ "Who Knows?".
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Va savoir". Retrieved 2009-10-18.
  4. ^ Come tu mi vuoi, a lesser known work that was adapted into the film As You Desire Me starring Greta Garbo.

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