The results are in, and the 10 best-selling films are back for encore screenings at the Alliance Française French Film Festival from the 6th to the 11th of April in Sydney.
From laugh-out-loud comedies to the most thrilling contemporary dramas, audiences have been delighted by the diverse range of French cinema on display at this year’s festival. Encore screenings are a much-anticipated annual highlight, giving Sydney-siders one last chance to catch the best of the best before the festival comes to a close.
Best-selling films include the powerful drama “November,” which tells the true story of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, the inspiring biopic of champion pastry chef Yazid Ichemrahem in “Sugar and Stars,” and the hilarious collaboration of rapper MB14, and Michèle Laroque, in heart-warming comedy “Tenor.”
Led by an all-star cast of iconic talent, November powerfully explores the perspective of the French anti-terrorism services lead investigators, working against the clock in the aftermath of the 2015 attacks across Paris. The unit led by Héloise (Sandrine Kiberlain, Another World AF FFF22) and her closest associates, Fred (Jean Dujardin, The Artist) and Inès (Anaïs Demoustier, Anaïs in Love, AF FFF22), having been caught off guard, assembles under immense pressure.
From the mind of award-winning stage director Ivan Calbérac (The Student & Mr Henri, AF FFF16) comes The Tasting. Delightful and witty, this heartfelt romance is best served with a glass of French wine.
The Tasting follows Jacques (Bernard Campan, A Bag of Marbles, AF FFF17) divorced and disgruntled, Jacques finds himself teetering on bankruptcy as his wine business begins to suffer. Not feeling particularly inspired by the next stage of his life, Jacques is close to giving up until Hortense (Isabelle Carré, Man Up, AF FFF21) stumbles into his shop. Light-hearted and kind, Hortense works as a nurse – completely enchanted by the babies she delivers, she is determined to find love and have a child of her own.
Based on champion pastry chef Yazid Ichemrahem’s own autobiography and starring influencer Riadh Belaïche, comes a story of struggle and triumph above all else. A feel-good film that will have you laughing and crying, Sugar and Stars is sprinkled with heart and prepared with a whole lot of soul.
Ever since childhood, Yazid wanted to cook delicious desserts and provide for his adoptive family. At night he gazes longingly at the pictures of his favourite pastry chefs on the wall before he drifts off to sleep – propelled forward by his dream of becoming a great chef just like his heroes.
Just how far will you go to get what you want? Glamour, sex, money and manipulation combine in a deadly vortex on the unassuming shores of the dreamy Côte d’Azur, as trouble begins to brew beneath the water’s surface.
An official selection of Cannes Film Festival 2022, Masquerade. follows Adrien (Pierre Niney, Black Box, AFFFF21) an aspiring dancer with an exciting life ahead – his dreams are suddenly dashed when hit with a debilitating injury. Succumbing to laziness, Adrien must rely on his beauty to seduce older, wealthy women who happily support his lavish lifestyle. Our protagonist is content living with doting Martha (Isabelle Adjani, The World Is Yours, AF AFFF19) that is until he meets captivating Margot (Marine Vacth, If You Saw His Heart, AF FFF18), finding her raw beauty and stealthy approach to scheming intoxicating.
Three fabulous femmes – Laure Calamy (Full Time, AF FFF22), Olivia Côte (Antoinette in the Cévennes, AF FFF21) and Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long, AF FF08) – star in the wildly entertaining new comedy from writer/director Marc Fitoussi (Call My Agent! AF FFF16) about estranged childhood friends who tentatively reunite for a trip to the Greek Islands.
Premiering at the Festival simultaneously with its French theatrical release, Two Tickets to Greece is an out-and-out crowd-pleaser, a breezily delightful tale of female camaraderie, stoked by laughter, tears and, of course, great scenery. Advance bookings will be essential!
Rediscover the power of the kindness of strangers in Christian Carion’s latest cheerful, heart-warmer, Driving Madeleine.
When taxi driver, Charles (Dany Boon, Penny Pincher, AF FFF17) reluctantly takes on an early-morning booking, he begins to regret his decision even more so when a cantankerous old woman, Madeleine (Line Renaud, Call My Agent! AF FFF16) is waiting begrudgingly at the pickup point. Despite his own grievances, Charles realises that his problems are nowhere near as hard-pressing as his clients. At the age of 92, she must bow to the pressure of family and doctors, waiting to be forced into an assisted living facility. With a day at her disposal, Madeleine intends to drag it out for as long as possible, indulging in her final hours of freedom.
What would you do if your dream holiday went terribly wrong? Directed by Éric Lavaine (Barbecue, AF FFF15) and with an all-star cast featuring the likes of Lambert Wilson (De Gaulle, AF FFF21) and Franck Dubosc (10 Days Without Mum, AF FFF20), prepare to laugh out loud – venturing on the most outlandish cinematic vacation yet!
Yves and his friends have booked tickets to Paros, Greece for his monumental 50th birthday bash, but when their flight is cancelled, Yves has no choice but to carry on with festivities in his run-down holiday home in dreary Brittany.
Bored and with few ways to keep spirits high, the vacation begins to take a turn for the worst. After a few too many glasses of wine, Yves watches as his friends begin to turn on one another, picking apart each other’s shortcomings, piece by piece.
Based on Sylvain Tesson’s critically acclaimed novel – On the Wandering Paths is a story of struggle and above all else, triumph. The film is Tesson’s second story to be reimagined on the big screen (The Velvet Queen, AF FF22) – a beautiful and complex cinematic retelling of his path to healing and the power that comes with surrendering to complete vulnerability.
Sylvain (Jean Dujardin, OSS 117, AF FFF22) is at the forefront of his life. Handsome and talented, he finds adoration in every aspect of his world from his acclaimed career as a writer to his passionate fire for love and lust – fueling his confidence and ego, as if nothing in life could stop his ascension…
A film that will transport you from the gritty, high-rise “banlieues” of outer Paris to the gilded splendour of the Opéra Garnier – a dissection of genres in a world where opera meets rap in musical marvel – Tenor. Antoine (Mohammed Belkhir, playing under his rap name MB14) is doing it tough, barely making a living working as a food delivery driver by day, trying to make his way to the big time as a rap artist by night.
An unlikely pairing, both MB14 and Michèle Laroque deliver a hilarious, uplifting performance as the duo work to navigate classical Opera and Tupac’s Greatest Hits together. A story where opposites attract, Antoine and Mrs Loyseau are able to find common ground in the joy of expression, looking past labels and prejudice to create beautiful music.
One of the most buzzed-about films of the 2022/23 awards season, the extraordinary narrative debut feature by acclaimed documentarian Alice Diop depicts the gripping story of a young novelist who is forced to confront her own complex family history as she attends a notorious murder trial.
Inspired by true events, Saint Omer is an arresting and profound film of constantly shifting layers; at once a tense courtroom drama, an inquiry into a female agency, and a provocative examination of myth. Deservedly selected to represent France at the 2023 Academy Award®, Diop’s film is a must-see.