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A Friendly Tale
A superb all-star quartet in stellar form leads the terrific new comedy of manners from Daniel Cohen, the story of life-long friends whose loyalties to each other are unexpectedly tested.
Life loving 40-something Lea (Oscar nominee Bérénice Bejo, The Artist) works in retail, and is happily married to Marc (Vincent Cassel), a conservative and somewhat insecure salesman. Lea has long been considered a dreamer by her know-it-all best friend Karine (the inimitable Florence Foresti), who seems content enough with her advertising executive job and life with gentle giant Francis (François Damiens) and their two kids. But something is about to upset the intricate balance of this quartet.
Over dinner one evening, Lea unexpectedly announces she is trying her hand at writing a novel, a declaration met with some bemusement; Marc is certainly unconvinced. Lea’s burst of creativity triggers an apparently threatened Karine to pick up her own pen, and even Francis dusts off a long-abandoned artistic side. When Lea’s book is picked up by a major publisher great things seem assured, if only her friends and husband can handle it…
Antoinette in the Cévennes
An Official Selection of the 2020 Cannes International Film Festival, writer/director Caroline Vignal’s hilarious and life-affirming romantic comedy stars the wonderful Laure Calamy (Call My Agent!, Sibyl) as a woman who finds herself on a journey of self-discovery in somewhat unexpected circumstances.
40-something primary school teacher Antoinette (Calamy) has been eagerly looking forward to a long-planned weekend escape with married lover Vladimir, the father of one of her pupils. However, their plans are upended by his wife’s booking of a surprise hiking trip in the picturesque Cévennes mountains in the South of France. Completely unversed in the ways of the wilderness, the spurned Antoinette impulsively decides to follow them, and once paired with an unlikely companion – an obstinate but evidently wise grey donkey named Patrick – discovers much, much more than she bargained for...
Carried by the remarkable Calamy and her scene-stealing co-star, Vignal’s wonderfully mischievous film offers both its lead character and audiences an uproarious and poignant reminder of the virtues of independence, and that the journey, not the destination, is often the reward.
Wed 23rd June | 8.00pm Book
The wickedly entertaining new film from writer/director Marc Fitoussi (Folies Bergére), Appearances is a sexy, Chabrol-esque marital thriller, featuring the sensational Karin Viard in one of her most vivacious roles.
The setting is Vienna. Ève (Viard), Henri (Benjamin Biolay) and their young son are among the entitled bourgeois community of wealthy French expatriates. They move amongst “la crème de la crème”; she as the CEO of the city’s Institut Français, he as a prestigious conductor who flitters across Europe, always in first class. It’s a seemingly flawless life, until the day Éve begins to suspect Henri of infidelity with her son’s primary school teacher (Laetitia Dosch). Absolutely desperate not to lose face, Éve engineers a dangerous double game, all the while preserving the façade of a happy marriage…
Tailor-made for its indomitable star, thirteen-time César nominee and three-time winner Viard completely inhabits the skin of a woman unafraid of callousness in her quest for affection, financial security and, most of all, status. Expertly stripping away the varnish of privileged social circles, Fitoussi’s darkly comic and playful thriller winks at its genre forbears whilst tightening the screws. It’s an unashamed and cinematically luxe slice of entertainment for adult audiences.
Sun 20th June | 7.45pm Book
If you’ve never seen Breathless, now is the time. If you have, then you’ve never seen it like this: newly restored in 4K and projected on the big screen in all its ground-breaking brilliance. Sensual, thrilling and effortlessly cool, Breathless changed cinema forever.
After shooting a policeman, petty criminal Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) attempts to lay low with his American girlfriend, aspiring journalist Patricia (Jean Seberg), who is unaware of what he’s done.
Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard from a treatment by François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol, Breathless is one of the most iconic films from the revolutionary French New Wave period of the late 1950s and 1960s. Inspired by American crime dramas, but completely rejecting the Hollywood approach to film style and storytelling, Breathless bursts with infectious and defiant energy that is just as subversive and joyful today as it was in 1960.
Not just a masterpiece of French cinema and not just a classic from the French New Wave, Breathless is simply one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, appearing at number 13 on the 2012 Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All Time poll.
Tue 22nd June | 11.00am Book
Bye Bye Morons
Winner of 7 César Awards, including Best Film and Best Director!
This crowd-pleasing film by writer/director/actor Albert Dupontel (See You Up There) blends dark humour, social satire and tragedy into a frenetic and fast-paced story that leaves audiences delightfully giddy by its twists and turns. As a testament to its wildly entertaining characters and plot, Bye Bye Morons conquered the French box office in 2020 despite being released at the height of the curfews.
Suze Trappet (Virginie Efira, Sibyl, An Impossible Love) doesn’t have long to live and she is going to make her last remaining days count. Determined to find the son she was forced to abandon almost three decades ago, Suze sets out on a madcap quest that is filled with adventure, peril and bewildering encounters.
While the whirlwind and borderline absurd style of the film delivers a series of glorious over-the-top comedic set-pieces, Dupontel ensures his film never loses its heart and embeds his characters with genuine empathy amid all the chaos. Dupontel himself is particularly endearing as Jean-Baptiste, who becomes one of Suze’s closest companions. Exhilarating, poignant and hilarious, this urban comedy is a refreshing blast of anarchic energy.
Sun 20th June | 1.15pm Book
Éric Besnard’s mouth-watering new film (in the grand tradition of Chocolat and Big Night) is set in 1789, just prior to the Revolution, when gastronomy is strictly the domain of the aristocrats. When the talented but prideful cook Manceron (Grégory Gadebois) serves an unapproved dish of his own creation at a dinner hosted by the self-entitled Duke of Chamfort, the repercussions are brutal, and he is promptly dismissed. Wounded, Manceron retreats with his son to a regional inn visited only infrequently by travellers, and where vegetable soup is the common meal. When a mysterious woman (Isabelle Carré) arrives and offers to pay to become his apprentice, the stage is set for a wildly enjoyable tale of reignited passion, mentorship and revenge... and of the creation of France’s very first restaurant
Mon 21st June | 8.00pm Book
Twenty years ago, Billy Elliot showed us that boys can dance and now Miss will win hearts as it proves that boys can compete in beauty pageants. The new film by Ruben Alves (The Gilded Cage) is a feel-good story about overcoming hardship and prejudice, with a fun and light-hearted commentary on how attitudes towards gender are shaped. It is the best kind of thought-provoking film: one that is celebratory and joyful.
Ever since childhood Alex (Alexandre Wetter) had wanted to enter the annual Miss France beauty pageant, despite being a boy. However, adolescence was not kind and Alex suffered huge blows to his self-esteem. When an unexpected encounter allows Alex to once more pursue his dreams, he does everything he can to transcend the traditional binary gender definitions that threaten to hold him back.
Miss is the first major acting role for Wetter, a model who has made a career out of defying gender norms. Wetter’s personal journey makes them the perfect person to play Alex in this inspirational film that inspires us to rethink the status quo.
Mon 21st June | 11.00am Book
Only the Animals
Evelyne Ducat (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) has gone missing. Following a snowstorm, her car is found on the road to a rural French plateau where a few isolated farms struggle to survive.
While the local gendarmes look for answers, five people, each of them somehow linked to the woman’s disappearance, try desperately to protect their secrets. But none of them suspect that the whole story began far from the windswept French highlands, on another continent where the sun beats down and where poverty can drive people to extremes.
Dominik Moll’s sophisticated French thriller Only the Animals watches quietly as an all-star cast are connected by desire, fear, ambition, poverty and murder.
Wed 23rd June | 11.00am Book