FRANCE • COMEDY, DRAMA • 106 MINS • 2017 • M
Directed by: DAVID & STÉPHANE FOENKINOS
Starring: Karin Viard, Anne Dorval, Anaïs Demoustier, Thibault de Montalembert
Following international veneration for their breakout debut, Delicacy (AF FFF2011), directing and screenwriting brothers David and Stéphane Foenkinos finally join creative forces again for an acerbic and dark comedy about a complex middle-class woman re-assessing her life.
Upon turning 50, divorced literature teacher Nathalie (KarinViard, The Bélier Family, AF FFF2015 and A Bun in the Oven AFFFF2017) slowly devolves from an accomplished professional and loving mother into an irritable, narcissistic and jealous monster who detests the happiness and success of others around her. Beginning with her strikingly beautiful dancer daughter, Mathilde (played by debutant Dara Tombroff, a former member of the Bordeaux Opera Ballet Company), Nathalie’s noxious envy soon extends to include her friends, colleagues and neighbours with far-reaching consequences.
Why has Nathalie’s life lost so much meaning that she is now turning on others? Will she escape this hellish spiral that appears beyond her control? The Foenkinos brothers avoid neatly packaged answers to the many questions that swirl around this conundrum and, in doing so, create a film that never rests on cliché or lets its audience settle within a comfort zone.
French with English subtitles