2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival Program
Alliance Française return to Perth with the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival. Replete with dramas, thrillers, romantic comedies, haunting stories of bygone years, and, as MGM Studios once proclaimed ''more stars than there are in heaven'', the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival will celebrate multiple Première screenings and fabulous special events, all of which you can check out at the Festival’s website.
Returning to Luna Palace Cinemas from 15 March until 5 April, this exuberant event is held by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia and the support of esteemed, Principal Sponsor, Renault Australia.
For the Festival’s 28th season, Artistic Director, Philippe Platel, who is celebrating his first year at the helm, has sourced a bewitching selection of 43 features and 2 documentaries that celebrates the ‘crème de la crème’ of contemporary French cinema by blending the work of established filmmakers with that of France’s cinematic luminaries of tomorrow.
Courtesy of Madman Entertainment, The Odyssey (L'odyssée), a fascinating biopic that tells the tempestuous story of celebrity oceanographer and filmmaker, Jacques Cousteau, will open the 2017 Festival. Directed by Jérôme Salle and starring Lambert Wilson and Audrey Tautou this dazzling epic, with stunning cinematography, will transport audiences to the underwater realm that Cousteau dedicated his life to exploring.
Closing Night Festival devotees will be entranced by the uproarious romantic comedy, A Bun in the Oven (Le petit locataire) from first-time director Nadège Loiseau, starring the radiant Karin Viard as Nicole, a reluctant, 49 year-old mother-to-be. Already overloaded with the responsibility of managing four family generations under one roof, Nicole’s life couldn’t be any more hectic…that is until she discovers she’s pregnant! But in a series of wonderfully comedic scenes, Nicole learns for the very first time, how to put herself first.
Additional highlights of the 2017 line-up include:
Director: Emmanuelle Bercot
Cast: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Benoît Magimel, Charlotte Laemmel
Reminiscent of a French Erin Brokovich, Irène, a lung specialist, embarks upon a path fraught with shady cover-ups and high-level corruption, when she suspect a link between recent patient deaths and a medication called Mediator, in this drama about a lone woman against the system.
Director: Christian Duguay
Cast: Dorian Le Clech, Patrick Bruel, Elsa Zylberstein
Based on the acclaimed memoirs of Joseph Joffo, this story follows two young Jewish boys who, armed with nothing but a map and scant money, embark on a dangerous quest to escape Nazi-occupied Paris during WWII by travelling alone to the South of France.
Director: Stéphane Brizé
Cast: Judith Chemla, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Yolande Moreau
In this Le Prix Louis-Delluc award-winning drama that evokes the lush cinematic style of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, we observe the story of Jeanne, a young noblewoman, who embraces the path of adulthood, only to experience the harsh realities of a woman’s life in the 19th century. Based upon Guy de Maupassant’s first novel of the same name.
Director: Thomas Lilti
Cast: François Cluzet, Marianne Denicourt
A dedicated country doctor, whose role often extends beyond the mere physical wellbeing of his patients, is forced by ill health to step aside, but struggles to relinquish responsibility to his young, female replacement.
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Cast: Constance Rousseau, Tahar Rahim, Mathieu Amalric
A haunting Gothic tale, where Jean, who works as the assistant to a famed, yet obsessive photographer, falls in love with his master’s daughter and muse, who in turn, longs to escape the pervasive gloom of her father’s house.
Director: Stéphanie Di Giusto
Cast: Soko, Gaspard Ulliel, Mélanie Thierry, Lily-Rose Depp
With her revolutionary “Serpentine” dance, Loïe Fuller was the toast of the Belle Époque cabarets. But it was her meeting with Isadora Duncan, an ambitious and beautiful young prodigy that threatened her stature, her confidence and her sanity.
Director: Tran Anh Hung
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Bérénice Bejo, Mélanie Laurent
Starring an exceptional trio of France’s leading ladies of the screen, this tale, which resonates with a Monet-like quality, is the story of the women and relationships that define one family across three generations.
Director: Nicole Garcia
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel, Alex Brendemüh
The passionate story of Gabrielle, a spirited and willful woman suffocated by an arranged marriage, who yearns for what she believes to be the wild excitement and heady emotion of true love.
Director: Justine Triet
Cast: Virginie Efira, Vincent Lacoste, Melvil Poupaud
In this sexy romance, featuring the sublimely comic pairing of Virginie Efira and Vincent Lacoste, a cynical, thirty-something, lawyer battles to survive in the wild and unpredictable worlds of the courtroom and the bedroom.
Director: Anne Fontaine
Cast: Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza
In Poland at the end of World War II, a young doctor, responds to a plea from a Benedictine convent, where she is shocked to find several nuns in various stages of pregnancy, leading her on a complex quest for the truth. The latest film from acclaimed director Anne Fontaine (Gemma Bovery 2015 Festival, Coco avant Chanel)
Director: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cottilard, Léa Seydoux
Starring a megawatt ensemble of France’s finest actors, an acclaimed dramatist visits his estranged family, following an absence of 12 years, to impart some startling news. However, simmering resentments and long-suppressed tensions threaten to thwart his intentions.
Director: Vincent Garenq
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Sébastian Koch, Marie-Josée Croze
Based on a true story spanning 27 years, which rocked the headlines in both France and Germany, this is the tale of a father’s relentless quest to bring justice to his daughter Kalinka, who died in suspicious circumstances.
Director: Martin Provost
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet
A gifted and experienced midwife, struggling to adapt to the efficiency–driven methods of modern hospitals, reconnects with her father’s extravagant mistress after an estrangement of three decades in this drama starring the two “Catherine the Greats” of French cinema.
Director: Roschdy Zem
Cast: Omar Sy, James Thierrée, Noémie Lvovsky
The fascinating story of Chocolat, the first popular Afro-Cuban artist of the French stage. Catapulted to stardom in Paris’ Nouveau Cirque, Chocolat’s satisfaction with success soon starts to diminish when his desire for equality begins to take hold.
Director: Fred Cavayé
Cast: Dany Boon, Lawrence Arné, Noémie Schmidt
In this comedy about taking obsession too far, France’s maestro of laughter, Dany Boon returns to the screen as François, a middle-aged violinist and compulsive ‘penny pincher’, whose parsimonious ways are upended by the surprise arrival of two new women in his life…a new love and the 16 year-old daughter whom he never knew he had!
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
Cast: Natalie Portman, Lily-Rose Depp, Emmanuelle Salinger, Louis Garrel
Searching for their big break, two American sisters, who earn their living through clairvoyance, arrive in 1930s Paris, where they beguile a movie-producer intent on shooting their séances as part of an ambitious new film.
Director: Angelin Preljocaj & Valérie Müller-Preljocaj
Cast: Anastasia Shevtsova, Niels Schneider, Juliette Binoche
A young girl working-class girl from Moscow realises her dream to join the Bolshoi Ballet, where she falls in love with a fellow-dancer who awakens her desire to explore the passion of modern dance.
Directors: Gustave Kervern & Benoît Delépine
Cast: Gérard Depardieu, Benoît Poelvoorde
Set on helping his offspring to appreciate France’s rural traditions, a father takes his disillusioned son on a chaotic journey through the wine-growing regions of France with a young Parisian taxi-driver as their chauffeur.
Director: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
In this gleefully slapstick detective story set in 1910, bourgeois holidaymakers mysteriously disappear from a coastal town, whilst the incompetent Inspector Machin and his shrewd assistant Malfoy search for the culprits. Nominated for 9 César Awards, including Best Film.
Director: Bavo Defurne
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Kévin Azaïs, Johan Leysen
A factory worker’s dreary life changes when she is recognised as a finalist of a once famed singing competition. Encouraged to return to the spotlight, it’s not long before old ghosts and bad habits from her bitter past resurface. Featuring music by the world’s biggest ‘little’ orchestra, Pink Martini.
Directors: Muriel & Delphine Coulin
Cast: Soko, Ariane Labed, Ginger Romàn
This hard-hitting and absorbing character study follows two female soldiers dealing with the traumas of war during a hedonistic three-day leave in Cyprus after finishing their tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Édith Scob, Roman Kolinka
A middle-aged philosophy teacher is forced to reinvent her life when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman, thereby sparking a chain of events that unravel her world.
Directors: Mélanie Laurent & Cyril Dion
Renowned actor/filmmaker Mélanie Laurent teams with ecological rights advocate Cyril Dion to address the world’s environmental problems, and to explore how local communities across the globe are creating solutions.
Directors: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
Cast: Adèle Haenel, Olivia Bonnaud, Jérémie Renier
A doctor, wracked with guilt, attempts to uncover the identity of a patient who died after she refused her treatment, and in doing so embarks upon a journey fraught with danger.
Director: Daouda Coulibaly
Cast: Quim Gutiérrez, Olivier Rabourdin, Ibrahim Koma
In this searing drama, which has been likened to an African Scarface, a young man, sick of his dead-end job as a bus driver, begins trafficking drugs and quickly ‘moves up the ranks’. But with responsibility comes greater risk and little chance of escaping the world of brutality surrounding him.