My favourite film festival each year is the French Film Festival. Sadly last year’s festival had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. It was just about to start when COVID hit. Returning for its 32nd year The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival , will beguile audiences from March 2 to mid – April at 25 locations around Australia. It will be presenting some high octane drama, seductive romance, nail-biting suspense, stunning historical tales and comedies that are guaranteed to elevate your spirits.
SheSociety were invited to a special advanced screening of The Godmother at Palace Barracks, Brisbane to launch the festival. Starring the iconic Isabelle Huppert, this film turns the idea of The Godfather on its head with a darkly funny, laugh out loud triumph where Breaking Bad meets the stoner comedy of a Seth Rogen movie. Isabelle displays her empathetic side well as the police translator caught up with some drug kingpins. It is uniquely French and we loved being transported back to Paris for the evening. One to watch during the festival.
Opening Night will see a screening of the magnificent Eiffel, a sumptuous and romantic costume drama which explores the passionate love affair between celebrated engineer Gustave Eiffel and Adrienne, a mysterious woman from his past. Portraying these ardent lovers will be French superstar, Romain Duris and the magnetic Emma Mackey.
Comedy lovers are not forgotten with Closing Night Film, #Iamhere, an endearing culture clash comedy, starring Alain Chabat as the eminent French chef who travels to the other side of the world after he falls in love via Instagram. The trailers were laugh out loud funny with a touch of romance.
For music lovers comes Aline, inspired by the extraordinary life of Celine Dion. It tells the story of a Quebec teen whose powerful voice propels her onto the world stage. I am also looking forward to Antoinette In The Cevennes which tells the story of a schoolteacher whose holiday plans are thwarted when her secret lover’s wife organises a surprise family trekking holiday in the Cevennes National Park, prompting Antoinette to follow in their tracks, by herself, with only Patrick, her protective donkey for company.
Film buffs will be keen to see the newly restored version of Jean – Luc Goddard’s masterpiece, Breathless, acknowledged as one of the earliest most potent examples of French New Wave cinema. It tells the story of a pair of narcissistic young lovers on the run from authorities following a violent and impulsive crime.
I liked the look of Perfumes which is your classic odd couple story about two people poles apart whose temperaments clash , but who show that opposites do indeed attract. Guillaume is a chauffeur who needs to keep his job to pay for a better place to live for his daughter. Anne is a gifted perfumer, whose skills are matched by her egotism and lack of tact. They rub up against each other before their relationship evolves into a sweet friendship filled with respect. Perfumes emerges as a breath of fresh- albeit scented- air.
There are animated films, thrillers, family dramas, cultural dramas and touching films to make you feel. We may not be able to travel right now but the French Film Festival can transport us to Paris and the French countryside, to Lebanon and Africa, to Canada, Korea and the American frontier. There are a host of mouthwatering films and many World Premieres for you to enjoy. With 25 cinema locations across Australia and a line up of 37 features there will be something to suit the most discerning cinephile. So find a great seat and enjoy your trip!
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).