The sibling relationship is potentially the longest lasting of any intimate bond, outlasting those with our parents by 20 to 30 years. My Favorite Season, a French film written and directed by Andre Techine, explores the way a middle-aged sister and her younger brother reconnect with each other after their mother is felled by a heart attack.

Very close when they were young, the emotionally chilly Emilie (Catherine Deneuve) and the impulsive hedonist Antoine (Daniel Auteuil) don't know how to deal with one another as adults. As they try to come to grips with their mother's physical and mental debilitation, they share old memories. She, in turn, feels abandoned by her modern children who are so wrapped up in their own problems. Emilie has left her husband, and Antoine struggles with what he really wants from his older sister.

My Favorite Season turns out to be a top-drawer exploration of the mysterious sibling bond, thanks to nuanced and engaging performances by Deneuve and Auteuil. This is French filmmaking at its best — intimate, funny, sad, and immensely accessible.