I do not mean to imply that these were the best films (if you want to call them that) of the decade. Jean-Luc Godard, Michael Haneke, the Dardenne brothers, and Bela Tarr all have claims on that title. But some kind of tipping point has been reached.
The personality of the adult Rimbaud, who writes letters home to his mother detailing and bewailing the state of his finances, is so different from that of the adolescent poète maudit that it seems improbable that the two belonged to the same person. Then again, Rimbaud, like us all, was always full of contradictions.
Énard’s attempt to modernize the Iliad is even more explicit than Joyce’s attempt to modernize the Odyssey in Ulysses. Indeed, Zone reads as if it were narrated by Molly Bloom—were she to have been cast as a battle scarred Achilles rather than an unfaithful Penelope.