Saint Amour – Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine

Kervern and Delépine’s highly-accomplished, multi-layered, surreal comedy Saint Amour should go some way to restoring Gérard Depardieu as one of France’s greatest actors.  His moving performance in Valley of Love opposite Isabelle Huppert was a show-stopper.  But here he adds weight, literally, to the role of Jean, a father desperately trying to connect with his…

Asphalte (Macadam Stories) – Samuel Benchetrit

Drawing inspiration from two of his own novels,  Benchetrit has delivered a wonderfully surreal, funny, human drama set against the unlikely backdrop of a run-down housing estate in a featureless region of France.  While there have been no shortage of French films recently to use the infamous suburban Cités as the scene for gritty social…

Dans La Cour (In the Courtyard) – Pierre Salvadori

After a couple of frothy romantic comedies starring doe-eyed Audrey Tautou – Beautiful Lies (2010) and Priceless (2006), – Pierre Salvadori does a 360° turn with Dans La Cours, a downbeat, melancholic drama about insanity, ageing and friendship. Despite the formidable Catherine Deneuve in one of the lead roles, its unrelenting misery makes for heavy…