Trailer “At War”

Directed by : Stéphane Brizé
Produced by : Nord-Ouest Films
Genre: Fiction – Runtime: 1 h 52 min
French release: 16/05/2018
Production year: 2017

Despite heavy financial sacrifices on the part of their employees and record profits that year, the management of Perrin Industries decides to shut down a factory. The 1100 employees, led by their spokesman Laurent Amédéo, decide to fight this brutal decision, ready to do everything to save their jobs.

Mademoiselle Chambon

I rewatched one of my favorite French films recently, Stéphane Brizé’s “Mademoiselle Chambon” (2009.)

“Mademoiselle Chambon” is a contemplative love story about a 50-something bricklayer named Jean (played by the magnificent Vincent Lindon) who falls in love with his young son’s teacher, Véronique Chambon (played by actress/singer Sandrine Kiberlain). Jean is married, Véronique is not. Complications ensue.

Chambon
Sandrine Kiberlain as title character

There are several moments in the film that have remained with me since first viewing: Véronique playing her violin with her back to Jean because she is shy performing;  Jean at home with his family, lovingly washing the feet of 80-year-old father. These scenes are beautifully imagined and masterfully acted.

My favorite scene is below: Véronique plays a classical piece on the stereo for Jean – La Valse Triste by Hungarian composer Franz von Vecsey. Two souls meet with no words spoken. When Jean places Véronique’s hand on his own cheek, I felt butterflies. Director Stéphane Brizé has said, “You don’t rehearse scenes like that.”

Watch the clip. Rent the movie.