Encore screenings at the 2022 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival

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Alliance Française French Film Festiva
📷 Alliance Française French Film Festiva

Between Two Worlds

Juliette Binoche (“How to Be a Good Wife”, AF FFF20) stars in this immersive drama based on French journalist Florence Aubenas’ bestselling non-fiction book, “Le Quai de Ouistreham” (“The Night Cleaner”). Marianne (Binoche), a writer posing as a cash-strapped divorcée who forms a tight bond with her co-workers, all the while secretly taking notes on them.

Opening the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at the Cannes Festival 2021,  “Between Two Worlds” invites us to reflect on the ethics of character, trust, friendship and journalistic practice.

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Employee of the Month

A hilarious comedy à la française! From South America to Sweden, “Employee of the Month” will make you cry with laughter and take the audience on an overdue journey around the world.

Jérôme Commandeur (“Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion”, AF FFF19) produces a satire full of twists and turns, poking fun at France and its public service, but kindly and with tenderness.

An irresistible force meets an immovable object when a zealous ministerial inspector (Pascale Arbillot), determined to do everything in her power to make cuts in civil service spending, comes up against Vincent Peltier (Jérôme Commandeur), a peaceful civil servant at the Water and Forestry Department in Limoges. As far as he’s concerned, his job, is “guaranteed for life”!

Commandeur will have the audience in hysterics turning mundane office politics to the adventure of a lifetime!

More information available here

Full Time

Following her César Award-winning performance in Antoinette in the Cévennes (AF FFF21), the marvellous Laure Calamy demonstrates the phenomenal range of her talents in writer/director Eric Gavel’s gripping and award-winning new drama Full Time, as a single woman pushed to her limits when the delicate balance between her home and work life is upended.

But when a national strike breaks out – paralysing the entire public transport system – Julie’s routine is thrown into chaos, increasingly pushing her into a frenetic race against time that threatens everything she’s worked so hard for.

Full Time has all the qualities of a pulse-pounding thriller, while offering a superb commentary on the daily hustle that defines modern life. Calamy fully deserves the multiple prizes – including Best Actress at Venice 2021- awarded for her work here; she and the film’s gasp-inducing final scenes are unforgettable.

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Fire

Astonishingly, in all their years on screen, cinema icons Juliette Binoche (How to Be a Good Wife, AF FFF20) and Vincent Lindon (At War, AF FFF19) have never acted together. This anomaly is finally corrected with Fire, the explosive new romantic drama from celebrated auteur Claire Denis (Let the Sunshine In, AF FFF18), a blazing story about a passionate, complicated woman caught between two very different men.

Packed with erotic frisson and a series of dramatic, emotionally charged encounters, the superbly acted Fire delivers two powerhouse actors working at the very top of their game. Don’t miss the fireworks.

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Madeleine Collins

In this psychological thriller in the Hitchcockian tradition, Virginie Efira (Bye Bye Morons, AF FFF21) deftly embodies the troubled personality of Madeleine Collins, a woman living a double life, whose identity cracks under the weight of her own lies.

The film tells the parallel stories of a woman who seems to be the perfect wife and a loving mother living between France and Switzerland. Sophisticated and elegant with a touch of suspense, Madeleine Collins sits somewhere between Vertigo and Kramer vs. Kramer, the story of a woman at the centre of two worlds that are starting to collide.

But why? It’s this mystery that will keep audiences engaged but once the answer is revealed, it’s the moral dilemma that will make them stay. What is motherhood? How do we define a family? What are the true costs of having it all?

Constantly blurring the lines, Madeleine Collins premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2021 and masterfully guides audiences on a journey of surprising discoveries.

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Maigret

The legendary Gérard Depardieu brings to remarkable life one of the most beloved characters from 20th century crime fiction in Maigret, the masterfully directed and hugely entertaining new film from multi award-winning writer/director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire, Ridicule, The Girl on The Bridge), based on Georges Simenon’s internationally best-selling novels.

Paris, 1953. The body of a beautiful young woman is discovered at Place Vintimille, dressed in an elegant evening gown. There is nothing to identify her, and no witnesses. Pensive and world-weary inspector Jules Maigret (Depardieu) endeavours to piece together her story, and in doing so uncovers details about her past and character. In his enquiries, he encounters Betty (Jade Labeste), a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to the victim, but who also reminds him of one even closer to his own life…

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The Kitchen Brigade

The follow-up movie to Julien-Petit’s box-office hit “Invisibles” (AF FFF20) “The Kitchen Brigade”, explores the world of French gastronomy while also tackling issues of social justice and inclusion through the story of Cathy.

Cathy (Audrey Lamy, already starring in “Invisibles”) is an inflexible 40-year-old sous-chef, finally fulfilling her lifelong dream of opening her own high-end restaurant. Things do not go to plan. Facing serious financial difficulties, she reluctantly accepts a job in the cafeteria of a shelter for young migrants. Though she hates the new job at first, Cathy’s remarkable skill and passion for cuisine start to change the kids’ lives. And it turns out they also have a lot to teach her.

More information available here

The Velvet Queen

A magnificent ode to nature, a film that suspends time, set to the sublime music of Warren Ellis and Nick Cave.

The Velvet Queen explores the awe-inspiring landscapes of Tibet and the unpredictable journeys of its inhabitants. Wolves, bears, yaks, birds and the mythic snow leopard come to life on the big screen.

The Velvet Queen provides audiences with the atmospheric experience of a hunt without weapons, as we follow particularly Munier’s obsession to capture the holy grail of the animal kingdom. The documentary feels simultaneously like a test of human patience and a celebration of slowness. Escapism that is grounded in the reality of the natural world.

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Kompromat

Based on incredible true events, Jérôme Salle’s (The Odyssey, AF FFF19) gripping new spy thriller depicts the remarkable story of a French public servant who unwittingly found himself in conflict with one of the modern era’s most powerful and dangerous forces: Russia’s FSB.

With top-notch direction and excellent performances by its entire cast (including Cold War’s fabulous Joanna Kulig) and featuring several pulse-pounding setpieces to rival the best of Bourne, Kompromat is high-octane French cinema at its most compelling and entertaining. See it before the inevitable and likely inferior Hollywood remake!

More information is available here

The Villa

With an all-star ensemble cast led by Gérard Depardieu (“Lost Illusions”, AF FFF22) and Liliane Rovère (“Call My Agent!”), “The Villa” joins the ranks of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, “Calendar Girls” and “The Intouchables”, with its touching and oft-hilarious depiction of friendships formed against all odds.

An unlikely story of friendship between Milann (Kev Adams), a young man on parole, who is forced to work in a retirement home rather than going to jail, and a larger-than-life group of retired people who are reluctant to accept this new recruit. Though as the endearing relationships between Milann and the band of seven inseparable friends form, they each in their own way, share their vision of life.

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