COMEDY, DRAMA / FRANCE / 2019 / 89 MINS / MA15+
Playing in the Piazza Grande stream at Switzerland’s Locarno International Film Festival in 2019, powerhouse actress, director and writer Valérie Donzelli (AF FFF16, The White Knights; AF FFF12, Declaration of War) brings her filmmaking superpowers to the fore in her strongest film yet. Notre Dame is a light-hearted tale which follows an architect in disarray as she works on redesigning the famous cathedral which was granted unexpected relevance when the beloved Paris icon was devastated by fire in April last year, just as the director was finalizing the movie.
Donzelli stars as Maud Crayon, a single mother and struggling architect who wins a competition to redesign the Notre-Dame esplanade. What should be a career-defining opportunity, however, only brings more drama when the project becomes a media scandal. Juggling her professional challenges with the complications presented by her ex-fiancé, Bacchus (Pierre Deladonchamps, AF FFF19, Sorry Angel and Family Photo), Maud’s quest to find a sense of balance is easier said than done. Donzelli’s moving story became even more poignant upon its release after the tragic Notre-Dame fire. A touching celebration of how our passions and the places we live can merge in the most beautiful ways, Notre Dame is also a love letter to both Paris and one of its most famous landmarks.
French with English subtitles.
“Valérie Donzelli brings a touch of madness and fantasy to this film, and pays homage to her hometown as well as her favourite director Jacques Demy.”– Cnews
“A crackling and offbeat comedy that transforms sadness into shared joy.”– Cineuropa
DIRECTED BY: Valérie Donzelli
STARRING: Valérie Donzelli, Pierre Deladonchamps, Thomas Scimeca, Bouli Lanners, Virginie Ledoyen