COMEDY, DRAMA / FRANCE / 2018 / 105 MINS / CTC
Based on the remarkable true story of Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, filmmaker Nils Tavernier delivers this stunning and engrossing account of love and dedication, The Ideal Palace.
Set in the south of France in 1879, Cheval (Jacques Gamblin The Finishers, opening night of AF FFF2014) is a humble postman. He leads an unassuming life, seemingly revelling in the solitude of his 20-mile delivery routes and daydreaming about the world of wonders that he only sees through the postcards and magazines he delivers.
He meets and falls in love with the breathtaking Philomène (Laetitia Casta, A Faithful Man in this year’s Festival), and the arrival of their baby daughter, Alice, causes him to look at things in a different way. He sets about building a castle for Alice – one fit for a princess – that consumes the next 30-plus years of his life. This castle eventually becomes recognised as an enduring and important French historical monument.
Spectacular photography and equally noteworthy performances give credence to this absorbing parable of persistence and vision, the larger-than-life undertaking of one very reserved man and the huge legacy he bestowed on France.
DIRECTED BY: NILS TAVERNIER
STARRING: Jacques Gamblin, Laetitia Casta, Natacha Lindinger, Bernard Le Coq, Florence Thomassin