Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2019: Top Picks

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival.  With over 50 movies/documentaries and only four weeks to cram them in, it’s always tough to make a decision. So here are a few tips from me.

First up, the media preview movie, Sister Brothers.

The Sisters Brothers (rating of 3.5)

Packed with A list actors this film will only been shown during the Festival. Set in California during the 1850’s gold rush the story focuses on brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix). The brothers are hired to kill a mysterious chemist, Herman Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), who’s allegedly perfected a formula that, when poured into a river, makes gold light up. Unbeknownst to them another gun-for-hire is on the target’s tail, John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal). Fearing death, Warm manages to convince Morris to team up with  him in search of gold. The western noir movie is a strange fish, but enjoyable. Shout out to Phoenix for a compelling performance and Ahmed for his measured portrayal of the intriguingly softly spoken chemist.

The Trouble With You

Picked as the Opening Night movie, this movie was a huge hit with audiences during Cannes 2018. Knowing Audrey Tautou is involved is enough to send me to the theatre.

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Set on the French Riviera, the wonderful Adèle Haenel plays detective Yvonne, the principled young widow of the local police chief who was killed in the line of duty. Each night she puts their young son to sleep with tales of his daring and bravery,so naturally Yvonne is horrified to learn that her husband was not the embodiment of virtue as she had been led to believe, but rather that an innocent man, Antoine (Pio Marmaï), has spent eight years falsely imprisoned as a result of his corruption. Yvonne decides to do everything she can to help return the hapless parolee to his regular life and devoted fiancé (a delightful, scene-stealing Audrey Tautou). Unfortunately, Antoine has trouble adjusting back to society, and soon blows a fuse that leads to an hilarious trail of destruction, where moral, social and romantic obligations are put to the test in a spectacular way.

Kiss and Tell

I should be enough for me to say that Charlotte Rampling is in this movie but I guess you want to know more. Okay so, Julien’s (Jean-Paul Rouve) son, Alex, finds out that 17 year-old Eva has neglected to tell him he’s going to be a father. Eva’s mother, Véro (Karin Viard), fears the worst for her grandchild. Meanwhile Elizabeth (Charlotte Rampling), whose husband, Bertrand (Jacques Dutronc) has disappeared into thin air, witnesses her home trashed by a search warrant. Julien’s wife, Lucie (Carole Bouquet), feels exasperated by her husbands paranoid delusions. It wouldn’t be a French film without a lover would it? So, Julien’s lover, Serena, senses his lies. Only Vero’s eldest son, Löic, appears to be stable but even this is just an illusion. How will they all land? The answer is a sidesplitting mess, much to our enjoyment.

The World Is Yours

Dubbed a multicultural, modern-day gangster flick, a homage to Quentin Tarantino, with Guy Ritchie touches and a kitsch soundtrack, how can it miss. Especially when Vincent Cassel is involved. The story focuses on small-time drug dealer Fares (Karim Leklou), who’s ready to give up a life of crime and become a popsicle distributor instead. However, his mother, Danny (Isabelle Adjani) has spent all of his savings. Fares is forced to pull off one last heist. The World Is Yours was an audience favourite.

Others that sound interesting are:

  • Who You Think I Am
  • Dumped: Ladies Night
  • Sink or Swim, if you haven’t already seen it, or the English version.
  • Celebration: Yves Saint Laurent
  • Jean Paul Gaultier: Freak and Chic

For more information go to Luna Cinemas and Palace Cinemas 

The Festival runs until April 10th, 2019.

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