PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA / FRANCE / 2019 / 100 MINS / MA15+
One of four women-directed movies that competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Justine Triet frames this portrait of a flawed, struggling woman through a defiantly female gaze. It straddles drama and elements of suspense in an absorbing story of someone who steps over an uncrossable line. Unsatisfied with her life, Sibyl (Virginie Efira, AF FFF19, Sink or Swim; AF FFF14, It Boy; and Triet’s earlier film AF FFF17, In Bed with Victoria) is transitioning from her career as a psychiatrist to her dream of becoming a writer. Throwing professional ethics into the wind, her dubious cure for writer’s block is to secretly use the experiences of her patient, Margot, as inspiration, creating a bond that has irreversible effects on both of their lives.
Adèle Exarchopoulos (AF FFF16, The Anarchists) plays the role of Margot, having won the Palme d’Or in 2013 for Blue Is the Warmest Colour (La vie d’Adèle) along with director Abdellatif Kechiche and co-star Léa Seydoux – making this the first time the award has been shared by both filmmaker and leading performers.
Continuing Triet’s fascination with identity, desire and control, Sibyl offers lingering psychological riddles, intelligent humour and a unique take on the often-unexpected fallout that can result when the work/life balance is in jeopardy. Darting between past and present, reality and fantasy, audiences will be swept away by a film as rich and rewarding as life itself.
French, Italian and English with English subtitles.
“Triet handles the material gracefully and skillfully, directing star Virginie Efira to one of her most impressive all-encompassing performances to date.”– Hollywood Reporter
“Triet is a sophisticated filmmaker and this – her third feature – is further proof of great talent.”– CineVue
DIRECTED BY: Justine Triet
STARRING: Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel, Sandra Hüller, Laure Calamy