Boomerang – François Favrat

Based on the novel written in English by best-selling author Tatiana de Rosnay, François Favrat’s Boomerang has a solid performance from Laurent Lafitte of the Comédie Française as Antoine, the angst-ridden, divorced father of two who is trying to solve the riddle of his mother’s accidental death when he was a young boy.  But elsewhere…

Joachim Lafosse’s Les Chevaliers Blancs wins director’s prize at San Sebastian Festival

Joachim Lafosse’s Les Chevaliers Blancs won the director’s prize at last weekend’s San Sebastian International Film Festival. Vincent Lindon, Louise Bourgoin, Valérie Donzelli, Reda Kateb star in the story of Jacques Arnault, head of Sud Secours NGO, who is planning to exfiltrate 300 orphans victims of Chadian civil war and bring them to French adoption applicants. Françoise…

Premiers Crus – Jérôme Le Maire

Jérôme Le Maire’s Premiers Crus is a US-style, feelgood movie with a French twist.  From the catchy jazz number which accompanies the opening credits to the stunning backdrop of the Burgundy wine-growing region, this film pulls out all the stops in its desire to please.  Wine buffs will love the behind-the-scenes look at the French…

Marguerite – Xavier Giannoli

Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite is a fabulous tragi-comedy which cleverly explores the relationship between celebrity, power and money while never forgetting for an instant the thigh-slapping humour to be wrung from the story of a chronically tone-deaf singer who dreams of fame as an opera star. Giannoli’s film is based on the true story of New York heiress Florence…

La Volante – Christophe Ali, Nicolas Bonilauri

Veteran actress Nathalie Baye is outstanding as a crazed granny out to prove ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’ in this stylish, psychological thriller with definite shades of the master himself, Albert Hitchcock. Compare the opening scenes of a car interior as it speeds along a rain-swept road with an early scene in Hitchcock’s…

Les Cowboys wins Michel d’Ornano prize at Deauville American Film Festival

  Thomas Bidegain’s Les Cowboys, previewed at the Cannes Film Festival, has won the Michel d’Ornano prize at this year’s Deauville American Film Festival. Les Cowboys, starring François Damiens and John C Reilly, is Bidegain’s first time behind the camera. He is better known as a scriptwriter most notably with director Jacques Audiard on a…

Le Tout Nouveau Testament (The Brand New Testament) – Jaco van Dormael

Jaco van Dormael’s irreverant comedy has an storyline worthy of a superior surrealist mind.  In this new interpretation of The Bible, the Belgian director’s God is a misanthropic, angry, middle-aged man living in a shabby apartment in the Belgian capital, Brussels. It’s so crazy it just might work and yet a promising start is lost in a…

5 French films to watch out for this autumn

  Marguerite – Xavier Giannoli. In competition at the Venice Film Festival, Marguerite marks the return to the big screen of the remarkable Catherine Frot (La Tourneuse de Pages, Le DÎner de Cons) after a three year absence. She plays Marguerite, a tone-deaf socialite who dreams of fame as an opera singer. Set in the…

La Belle Saison (Summertime) – Catherine Corsini

For her tenth feature French director Catherine Corsini has chosen a love story set against the backdrop of the burgeoning feminist movement in France during the 1970s.  It’s a fascinating look at how far women have come over the last four decades in their fight for equality and the changes in the way society views…

Antigang (The Squad) – Benjamin Rocher

Rocher’s cops ‘n robbers Antigang is a pale imitation of its more polished transatlantic cousins. There are enough extended gun fights and car chases to satisfy hardened fans of action movies, but Rocher can’t seem to decide whether or not to take his characters seriously. The beginning of the film gives some indication of his…