Celebrated director Nicole Garcia (Place Vendôme) tells the story of two people from radically opposed social classes, who find each other after both escaping a toxic past. Baptiste (played by Pierre Rochefort, the son Nicole Garcia had with Jean Rochefort), is a solitary primary school teacher, who finds himself looking after Mathias, one of his students for a weekend. When Baptiste takes Mathias back to his mother Sandra (Louise Bourgoin), a seasonal worker, he is instantly enchanted. For three beautiful days, a new beginning and new love seem possible. A dark romance, a fascinating character study and a gripping tale of the rough road to redemption.
Journal de France
Travelling alone, internationally acclaimed and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and filmmaker Raymond Depardon spent six years capturing France with a large format camera. This long, solitary road trip provided fertile ground for the creation of an extraordinary travel journal. Aboard his camping van, Depardon revisited important places from his past as a reporter: Chad, Venice and Cannes. Previously unseen footage from his personal archive has also been added to create an intimate portrait of a country and its culture.
Farewell, My Queen
In 1789, the French Revolution is rumbling. Far from the turmoil, at the Château de Versailles, Queen Marie-Antoinette (Diane Kruger, Anything For Her) and her courtiers keep on living their usual carefree lives. But when the news of the storming of the Bastille reaches them, panic sets in and most of the aristocrats and their servants desert the sinking ship. Which is not the case of Sidonie Laborde (rising star Léa Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Colour and soon to star in the new James Bond), the Queen's reader, a young woman entirely devoted to her mistress; she will not give her up under any circumstances. A tense, absorbing, pleasingly unique look at the life and lies of a doomed monarch.
Tour de Force
Forty-year-old Francois Nouel is a Tour de France fan, to the extent that he decides live his dream of participating in the race, riding the course one day ahead of the pros. The obstacles are many, but as he overcomes them one by one, word of his exploits spreads. A feel-good comedy with a beautiful scenery that no self-respecting Tour de France fan can afford to miss.
Le Grand Soir
Belgian star Benoît Poelvoorde (Man Bites Dog, Romantics Anonymous) clearly has a ball playing the oldest punk-with-a-dog in Europe who, together with his down-on-his-luck conformist brother, enacts revenge on a shopping mall. A dark and absurd comedy by longstanding satirical duo Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, Le Grand Soir also stars French punk icon Brigitte Fontaine as their crazy mother, Gérard Depardieu and Yolande Moreau (lead actress in Louise-Michel, another comedy by Delépine and Kervern, also available at SBS On Demand).
Our Heroes Died Tonight
Shot in luminous black and white, this is a stylish neo-noir knockout. Set in the criminal milieu surrounding professional wrestling in the 1960s, the story follows Victor (Denis Ménochet of Inglourious Basterds), a gentle giant who has just returned to Paris from a stint with the Foreign Legion in Algeria. When he meets wrestler Simon at a bistro (Jean-Pierre Martins, who played boxing legend Marcel Cerdan in La Vie en Rose), he finds work and starts to lose himself in his masked character as "The Spectre". This dark, thrilling and atmospheric film is a love letter to the cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Jean Gabin.
Multi-talented Julie Delpy (2 Days in Paris) directs and stars in this quirky family comedy, with an all-star cast including Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Eric Elmosino (Gainsbourg), Noémie Lvovsky (Camille Rewinds), Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds), Vincent Lacoste (The French Kissers), and of course Delpy's own father Albert (a regular fixture in his daughter's films). In the 1979 summer holidays, a family gathers to celebrate Granny Amandine's 67th birthday. However 10-year-old Albertine is worried about the disturbing news that the American space station Skylab is threatening to crash in Western France. No prizes for guessing where their summer house is located.
In this touching movie about father-son relationships, Jo Canavaro (Gérard Lanvin, A Gang Story), is a third-generation rugby legend, raising 13-year-old Tom in a small village in the south-west of France. Much to Jo’s disappointment, Tom is as good at maths as he is bad at rugby. It is inconceivable to Jo that the family legend might end with him, so he attempts to start a rugby team just for Tom, despite the opposition of the entire village - including Tom.
Philippe Torreton (Mood Indigo) gives a heart-wrenching performance as Alain Marécaux, a respected lawyer, husband and father whose life was shattered by false allegations of child abuse during one of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in France. The Outreau affair, as it was known, took place from 2001 to 2005 and provoked national outrage. This account, based on Marécaux's autobiography, reveals his fight to prove his innocence, but lose everything in the process.
Feu: Crazy Horse Paris
Two of the biggest names embodying France's love affair with elegance and seduction join forces in this sumptuous film. Shoe designer extraordinaire Christian Louboutin, of the unmistakable, world-famous red sole stiletto, was invited to direct a new show for the Parisian nude cabaret institution The Crazy Horse. Not only has Louboutin designed the shoes worn by the sublime wigged dancers, he has also worked on the direction of the show to create for the viewer a sensual and surreal experience – "a modern, dream-like idea of the celebration of women for women". Oh la la, tout un programme!
The French Kissers
Comic book artist Riad Sattouf gave us one of the best surprises of 2010 with his first film, an exploration of that difficult time of life: teenagehood. French school student, Hervé, and his heavy metal fanatic best friend try to make sense of adolescence as they deal with the opposite sex, uncooperative parents and rebellious hormones. The struggle to get through the day without a public gaffe only gets trickier for Hervé when he finds himself with an actual girlfriend, Aurore. Hervé's misadventures include some of the un-sexiest French kisses of all time.
Shall We Kiss?
This oh-so-French romantic comedy by Emmanuel Mouret (The Art of Love) begins with two strangers, Emilie and Gabriel, who meet by chance and experience instant attraction, even though they both are involved in relationships. When Gabriel asks Emilie for a kiss goodnight after a dinner together, she refuses, explaining that a single kiss can alter a life. You can feel Mouret's unapologetic love for Woody Allen in this comedy, in which he also stars alongside actress Julie Gayet (who garnered headlines lately for the revelation of her secret rendez-vous with President Hollande. Aaah the French!)
Paris Je t'aime
This delightful love letter to Paris is a portmanteau of shorts from 20 internationally-renowned filmmakers, devoted to each of Paris' arrondissements. A who's-who of filmmakers including Wes Craven, Gus Van Sant, and Ethan and Joel Coen, direct Natalie Portman, Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal and French actors Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Gaspard Ulliel... the list goes on. A feast for the senses, Paris Je'Taime will inspire you to hop on the first flight to the City of Lights.
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