French Film Festival
Ballina Fair Cinemas
24th-26th May, 2019
French Film Festival ticket sales:
- Non-member Adults - $15
- AF members/Seniors/Students - $13
- Children 13 and under - $10
Festival Pass (5 films):
- Non-member Adults - $65 (save $10)
- Seniors/Students - $55 (save $10)
- AF members only - $50 (save $15)
Further information about the films:
"Le grand bain" (Sink or Swim) Drama/Comedy 2hr 2mins 2018 Dir. Gilles Lelouche
A disparate group of 40-somethings – all in the throes of mid-life crises – form a local swimming pool’s inaugural, males-only synchronised swimming team. Staring down ongoing ridicule and contempt from all angles, they engage a fallen champion, Delphine (Virginie Efira, as their coach, supported by her tough-as-nails former swim partner, Amanda (Leïla Bekhti). Unwittingly, the team members embark on an unlikely journey of redemption that sees each one of them rebuild some sense of their self-worth.
"Claire Darling" Drama/Comedy 1hr 34mins 2018 Dir. Julie Bertuccelli
Emotional, subtle and elegantly directed, Claire Darling is a deeply personal film for Bertuccelli, filmed in the estate of her own grandmother, and Deneuve is remarkable as always as the larger-than-life heiress, playing opposite her real-life daughter. This is a poignant story of emotional attachment, misremembered pasts, and the complexity of mother/daughter relationships. The ending may surprise you, and packs an emotional punch.
"Pupille" (In Safe Hands) Drama 1hr 48 mins 2018 Dir. Jeanne Herry
The second feature film from actress-turned-filmmaker Jeanne Herry, In Safe Hands throws us deep into the milieu of the French social assistance services where the fate of one baby boy exposes the conflicting conundrums faced by many women – those giving up their babies and those desperate to have their own. When baby Theo’s birth mother surrenders him to adoption, child protection services, and officers such as Karine (Sandrine Kiberlain) are called to action, and the harsh realities of the adoption process are pulled into sharp focus.
"Photo de famille" (Family Photo) Comedy/Drama 1hr 38mins 2018 Dir. Cecilia Rouaud
Gabrielle, Elsa and Mao are three adult siblings, leading very different lives. Single mother and artist Gabrielle (Vanessa Paradis) has struggled to make ends meet, and finds herself working as a human statue along the Seine; Elsa (Camille Cottin) has married well but is increasingly distraught at her inability to conceive; videogame designer Mao (Pierre Deladonchamps) drowns his melancholy and frustration at the world in psychoanalysis and booze. Their long-separated parents aren’t exactly helping matters. Pierre (Jean-Pierre Bacri) has taken up with a woman younger than them all, and Claudine (Chantal Lauby) drives everyone crazy. The passing of their grandfather forces a family reunion, and the raising of a question that none of them wants to face: what to do about beloved matriarch, Mamie?
Cleverly mixing hilarious sibling battles with moments of burgeoning romance and touching, if fragile, reconciliation, Family Photo delivers laughs and tears in way that many films try, but few achieve so expertly.
" L'Incroyable histoire du Facteur Cheval" (The Ideal Palace) 1hr 45mins 2018 Dir. Nils Tavernier
Based on the remarkable true story of Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, filmmaker Nils Tavernier delivers this stunning and engrossing account of love and dedication. Set in the south of France in 1879, Cheval (Jacques Gamblin) is a humble postman. He leads an unassuming life, seemingly revelling in the solitude of his 20-mile delivery routes and daydreaming about the world of wonders that he only sees through the postcards and magazines he delivers. He meets and falls in love with the breathtaking Philomène (Laetitia Casta) and the arrival of their baby daughter, Alice, causes him to look at things in a different way. He sets about building a castle for Alice – one fit for a princess – that consumes the next 30-plus years of his life. This castle eventually becomes recognised as an enduring and important French historical monument.