Oh La La!

ANNE FONTAINE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB. 

Original title:  Nouvelle Chance

France, 2006.  Mosca Films, Ciné B, France 2 Cinéma, Sédif Productions, Playtime, Haut et Court, Soficinéma 2, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Canal+, CinéCinéma.  Screenplay by , Anne Fontaine.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Toronto International Film Festival 2006.  

Anne Fontaine follows two films centring on the adventures of Augustin Dos Santos () with a third delightful comedy. In this one, Augustin’s minor theatrical endeavours are thwarted when he is hired by a company to put on a quintessentially French performance for visiting Swedish businessmen. This is a problem considering he has nothing appropriate in his repertoire for the job, but his new found friendship with an octogenarian former vaudeville star (), whom he meets after a performance at a retirement home, provides him with an opportunity: she puts him in the way of a nineteenth century memoir about a doomed love triangle that he decides will be a perfect fit. Casting Darrieux in the lead, Augustin manages to capture the attention of a popular television star (the ever adorable ) and convince her to take the opposite role, creating a whirlwind of minor comedy delights that occur when the project bends at the winds of actors’ egos. Just the right touch of everything in this Rohmer-esque comedy, ending with the most beautiful of melancholic tones, and featuring a spritely Darrieux, who at 90 is showing no signs of slowing down.

 

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