The signature movie of the 2023 AF French Film Festival, Masquerade
is set among the lives of the very rich, those who are just rich and the jealous poor of the French Riviera. The love lives and schemes form more of a caper movie than just the tale of sordid lover affairs. You will be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what new twists and turns happen in the story.
About the AF French Film Festival
Masquerade was the opening night film at the AF French Film Festival this year
Taking place in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth, The AF French Film Festival is now in its 35th year and is one of the biggest festivals of French film in the world. Last year over 150,000 people attended the festival.
At the opening night Gala at the French Film Festival in Brisbane
It features the best in recent French Films, as well as some classics. It is often the only chance you get to see French films in the cinema in Australia.
David Wenham talking about the influence French Film has had on him at the opening night gala of the French Film Festival
The festival also features a number of special events. Masquerade was showing at the gala opening event with music, wine, food, speeches and a gift bag. Definitely worth going to one of the event nights, even though you kind of need to dress up (or be outshone by guys in silk suits and glamorous French women).
French food boxes are served for special events at the AF French Film Festival
There has been a trend of satirising the wealthy in films and TV shows in recent years, though this isn't really a new thing. Masquerade is a genre-defying French Film that is packed with twists and turns, as Adrien, who is having a relationship with an older former movie actress falls in love with Margot, who is not only just seeking a rich lover, but a mark she can get lots of money from. Aided by the spurned and cheated Giulia, they create their plans and plots.
Masquerade is the signature film of the 2023 French Film Festival
But in love and relationships, all is never as it seems. A lot is happening in this film with layered metaphors, plot twists, and French farce elements, and a courtroom drama that links all the plot elements together. Here is a fast-paced and complex story told with both beauty and honesty. There are lots of sex scenes, but none are designed to titillate, with each sex act part of the plot, character and relationship development.
Yes, you will walk out of the theatre and hear multiple people asking each other questions like 'So she was really....", "Do you think she is...", and "What about....". It is that sort of movie, but it is not about the details of actions, but people's motivations.
Other films to watch at the festival
With 39 films at this year's festival, there is no point going through all of them, but here are a few that the crowd on opening night were happy to shout out that they were planning to see.
Opening night presentation at the French Film Festival in Brisbane
Notre-Dame on Fire
: We all watched the burning of France's most famous cathedral. Now watch the story of the firefighters risking their lives to save the building from total destruction.
: Yes, it is a zombie film, but it is a zombie comedy about making a low-budget zombie film. Worth seeing whether you love or hate zombie movies.
Sugar and Stars
: Based on the true story of Yazid Ichemrahem who grows up in foster homes before becoming a pastry chef. Worth seeing Taste of France
special event on March 19 when you see this movie.
There is still something special about going to see a movie in the cinema, and especially seeing something original and beautifully shot. French film and Masquerade
certainly deliver on this experience. Plus, unlike watching a movie at home, you are not constantly looking at your phone, which means you are not distracted from reading the subtitles.
is an entertaining film that combines satire, sordid love affairs and a caper movie to deliver something both beautiful and real at the same time. But even if Masquerade
is not your thing, there are films of all genres and styles at the festival, so you are sure to find something worth watching.