From what I gather Blain himself was bisexual in his youth and also had an older protector, so maybe this is his roman a clef about that. Philippe is actually heterosexual, and Nicholas does not object or put barriers on his pursuit of an attractive blonde. This relationship is obviously benefiting Philippe, as the older man teaches him and guides him and helps him to get ahead. Some scenes though go on rather too long, like Philippe and the blonde in that car, then next scene, he is back sharing a hotel double bedroom with Nicholas (there is nothing explicit, it is all very tasteful), and then seemingly making a good impresson on the blonde’s family, until she finds someone else ….
Its perhaps a meditation on how people cope with grief, rather like the Italian THE SON’S ROOM by Nanno Moretti. Deneuve is a sterling presence here in another good late role for her and it is ably directed by Gael Morel, who played the lead in Techine’s LES ROSEAUX SAUVAGE (WILD REEDS) (reviewed here at gay interest label) and has directed other films too, I am looking at his THREE DANCING SLAVES soon. Morel co-wrote the script here. Its absorbing though the ending is rather inconclusive.