Tag Archives: French Film Festival



LA BELLE EPOQUE (A Beautiful Era) is a charming, funny, fantasy, in a very French way.

 Sixty year old Victor(Daniel Auteuil) is a technophobic out of work cartoonist. Marianne (Fanny Ardant) his wife for over 40 years is a seemingly ‘modern’ woman, who in exasperation, throws Victor out of their marital home. This action starts a chain of events, where both both fact and fantasy  are relived.

 ‘Time Travellers’ is a historical re-enactment company owned by Antoine(Guillaume Canet) a friend of Victor’s son. A gift voucher for ‘Time Travellers’ allows Victor to relive his original wonderful meeting with Marianne, on 16 May 1974 in a bar in Lyon. The situation goes somewhat array when Victor falls for the actor Margot (Doria Filler) playing the part of his future ‘wife’. To further complicate matters, Margot is also Antoine’s lover.

 The movie is beautifully filmed. The sets, especially in the re-enactment scenes are marvellous and capture the periods conveyed with great accuracy. For fans of nostalgia and also baby boomers – the 1970’s re-enactment provides a complete trip down memory lane. Wonderful songs and music from the era is played throughout, fully evocative of that ‘hedonistic’ period.

 Excellent performances by all the lead actors, but especially the characters played by Auteuil and Tiller. There are many smaller parts – all are charmingly executed.

 Fantasy, nostalgia and reality collide and intertwine, with the result that ‘La Belle Epoque’ is an entertaining and heartwarming French film.

 LA BELLE EPOQUE screened as a media preview of the upcoming French Film Festival. The 31st season of the French Film Festival will screen between 10th March and the 8th April,2020 at Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel, Palace Central and Hayden Orpheum cinemas.












Dark and at times somewhat disturbing . POLINA marks the directorial debut of renowned French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and his wife, filmmaker Valérie Müller.

The film is wonderfully, at times moodily photographed, with some glorious landscape shots, including a striking early solo outside in the snow against the backdrop of the cooling towers of a nuclear power plant , and later some enchanting use of mirrors and shadows and unusual angles. and much use of intimate closeup. The interior of the Bolshoi Theatre and school are glowingly portrayed.

The film’s sections of electronic score, by 79D, works well with the shift away from classical music to something more edgy and contemporary.

POLINA is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Bastien Vivès and is about a ballerina and her artistic development.

Veronika Zhovnytska plays Polina as a young
girl, whose supportive hardworking parents encourage her dream of one day dancing for the Bolshoi. Continue reading POLINA : A DANCER SEARCHES FOR HER TRUTH

Volker Schlondorff’s DIPLOMACY

Niels Arestrup with André Dussollier in Volker Schlondorff’s new film, DIPLOMACY

Director Volker Schlondorff dedicates his film version of DIPLOMACY, adapted from the French playwright Cyril Gély’s 2011 successful stage show, to the late American diplomat, Richard Holbrook. Holbrook was the man who, together with Swedish diplomat, Carl Bildt, brokered the peace in Bosnia with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords.

DIPLOMACY is predominantly a two hander set on the evening of August 25th, 1944. The Allies have entered Paris, and shortly before dawn the German military governor of the city is preparing to dynamite the capital’s famous monuments and bridges on Hitler’s orders. Enter the Swedish Consul-General, Raoul Nordling.

Niels Arestrup plays the loyal Third Reich governor, with André Dussollier as the man who must convince him not to destroy a city.

Full of patriotism and passion, this is a tour-de-force by both lead actors, who originated the roles on stage, with parry and thrust argument about what constitutes duty, national pride, the spoils of war, and the art of negotiation.

Continue reading Volker Schlondorff’s DIPLOMACY


IT BOY, a film turning on the older woman/younger man scenario, is a fizzy, frothy confection starring the gorgeous Virginie Afira as Alice, a nearly 40 career woman, divorced single mum.

She’s been in cold blooded training to break the glass ceiling at her magazine when a brazen hussy encroaches on her domain whilst on assignment in Brazil.

Furious, she flies back to Paris, seated next to an upgraded student, Balthazar Apfel, half her age. Turbulence causes it to a be a fright flight and in the turmoil she leaves her USB behind, the device discovered by Balthazar.

Continue reading IT BOY