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La Belle Époque - Film Review (French Film Festival 2020)

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Image - French Film Fest 2020

la belle epoque film review, Alliance Française French Film Festival 2020, community event, fun things to do, cinema, movie buffs, foreign films, sub titled filmes, entertainment, performing arts, actors, actresses, opening and closing night, french movies, film festival, in the name of the land, how to be a good wife, the extraordinary, we'll end up together, a friendly tale, someone, somewhere, two of us, in the name of the land, roxane, 10 days without mum, alice and the mayor, of love and lies, school life, the mystery of henri pick, my dog stupid, my days of glory, the lost prince, sibyl, la belle epoque, love at second sight, only the animals, aznavour by charles, edmond, the perfect nanny, room 212, the translators, entertainment
Images © Les Films du Kiosque

La Belle Époque is a 115min long comedy, drama starring Daniel Auteuil, Fanny Ardent, Doria Tillier, Guillaume Canet and Michaël Cohen as the main characters.

This and many other films currently grace our shores at the Alliance Française French Film Festival from 10 Mar to 19 Apr 2020 inclusive of special events that includes attending this film on Fri 27 Mar 2020, 6.45pm at Palace Cinema Como, followed by a costume party (dress in the style of your favourite decade) including a Champagne sabrage performance, French music, Champagne tower, macaron pyramid and canapés!


The festival also sheds a spotlight on the marvellous Catherine Deneuve with a special launch of four films starring Deneuve. There's a restored version of Donkey Skin (1970) a fantasy musical; followed by three dramas. Hotel America (1981); Farewell to the Night (2019); and Happy Birthday (2019). Be sure to catch the reigning queen of the French screen.


In La Belle Époque, Victor (Auteuil) is a tech-phobic cartoonist going through a bad patch in life, both professionally and personally. His work is disappearing in the age of Internet dominance and his psychotherapist wife (Fanny Ardant) Marianne can't stand him. Life dips into the past when Victor is handed a gift from his son to Time Travellers; a company offering a unique service where customers can revisit memories and play out fantasies through carefully orchestrated re-enactments.

With the present not going so well for him, Victor dips his toe into the past, requesting a very specific 16 May 1974 date to revisit and relive the most memorable week of his existence in a Lyon bar, 40 years earlier when he met the love of his life.


There's a dual story running here with owner and orchestrator of Time Traveller, Antoine's estranged wife playing the role of Victor's love interest. Emotions of control, jealousy and love fly through the film as it touches on possibilities of Victor simply falling in love with the imposter; or will the young actor as Marianne revitalise his marriage. The story shifts in an out of reality and fantasy quite cleverly, at times tricking you into thinking it's reality, but perhaps it's not; or is it?

The one who shines is Fanny Ardant who plays the disgruntled wife and mother that battles her dual emotions of abhorrence and guilt. She's the strong, assertive woman who happily hands out a tongue lashing and doesn't shy away from being assertive and she performs it convincingly. A depressed Auteuil is a state that he knows well how to project. However, no matter the powerful stars, this comedy-drama doesn't hit either of the walls of both genres. It's not funny enough to be a comedy, nor is it probable as a drama. It's all a little farcical; however, you can form your own opinion

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