Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Fauteuils D’Orchestre
Alternate title: Orchestra Seats
France, 2006. Thelma Films, StudioCanal, TF1 Films Production, Radis Films Productions, Canal+, CinéCinéma, Région Ile-de-France, Alizé Art Consulting, Nexus Factory. Screenplay by Daniele Thompson, Christopher Thompson, dialogue by Daniele Thompson. Cinematography by Jean-Marc Fabre. Produced by Christine Gozlan. Music by Nicola Piovani. Production Design by Michele Abbe-Vannier. Costume Design by Catherine Leterrier. Film Editing by Sylvie Landra.
Breezily beautiful comedy, chock full of whimsy and wisdom as Cécile De France shows up in Paris looking to find some work after parting from her beloved grandmother (the great Suzanne Flon in her final film role). The perky young lady gets a job at a cafe that is situated across the street from a row of theatres where three very complex individuals are at life’s crossroads: an actress (Valerie Lemercier) is in crisis about her future as a soap opera star and hoping that a famous director (Sydney Pollack) will hire her for his Simone de Beauvoir biopic, a pianist is looking to leave behind the concert world and retire to the countryside with his manager/wife (Laura Morante, who is stunning) and an aging business tycoon is preparing to sell his entire art collection at an auction and ends up reconnecting with his son (Christopher Thompson co-writer and the director’s son) because of it. The various strands of the story never get out of hand, instead jumbling up in a beautiful melange that wraps up with a delicious, whimsical bow at the end. Hopeless romantics will be in heaven.