French Film Fest
The best of French cinema screens at Palace Cinemas. Here are our picks
More great movies than you can poke a baguette at
C’est La Vie! (Le sens de la fête) The opening night film is from the directors of the 2011 smash hit The
Intouchables. It’s about a wedding that turns into a nightmare for the party’s Basil Fawlty-like planner, Max (Jean-pierre Bacri). 50 Is the New 30 (Marie-francine) Closing night’s comedy, from director and star Valérie Lemercier, is about a woman at a low ebb in life who moves back in with her parents at age 50. Double Lover (L’amant double) François Ozon is a filmmaker who delivers one of the things we love most about French cinema – effortless eroticism. His new film concerns a former model, Chloé (Marine Vacth), who falls for her therapist (Jérémie Renier), but their romance is complicated by a malevolent identical twin. See You Up There (Au revoir là-haut) At the end of World War I, a humble bookkeeper (Albert Dupontel) has his life saved by a sensitive artist (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), and the two team up to pull an artistic scam. The Return of the Hero (Le rétour du héros) Jean Dujardin stars as a Napoleonic-era Lothario who fails in his promise to write to his fiancée daily from the front lines, so her sister (Mélanie Laurent) steps in, Cyrano-like. Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil interieur) Juliette Binoche plays a middleaged artist looking for love in Paris who bounces between men who don’t deserve her, including a caddish, married banker and a tentative actor. Montparnasse Bienvenüe (Jeune femme) Writer-director Léonor Sérraille delivers a startling comedic drama about a 31-year-old woman, Paula (Lætitia Dosch), returning to Paris after living abroad, trying to get a job and get her life in order. Mrs Hyde (Madame Hyde) This variation on the Jekyll and Hyde story stars Isabelle Huppert as a mousy physics teacher at a Parisian high school who becomes something else entirely after being struck by lightning. Serge Bozon’s film cleverly explores inequality in French society. Jealous (Jalouse) David and Stéphane Foenkinos ( Delicacy) wrote and directed this dark comedy on the green-eyed monster. Karin Viard is Nathalie, a 50-year-old divorcee who starts to envy the happiness and success of everyone around her. Rock’n Roll Real-life couple Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard play themselves in a spoof of their own celebrity. While Canet tries to recapture his youth, Cotillard is too wrapped up in her own acting career to notice. BPM (120 battements par minute) Set in the early 1990s, the film concerns the fight for social acceptance by people living with HIV. An intimate, heart-tugging drama, the film centres on the romance between and activist and a young man living with HIV. The Workshop (L’atalier) The latest from Laurent Cantet ( The Class) is about a creative writing workshop run by a novelist, Olivia (Marina Foïs), and the dark undercurrents of French society unveiled when people from different backgrounds are thrown together. Nick Dent
Òastor Theatre, Kino Cinemas, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinemas Como and Palace Westgarth. www. affrenchfilmfestival.org. Feb 28-Mar 27.
50 Is the New 30