Mademoiselle Chambon


(out of 5)

 is wonderful as a builder whose factory worker wife () throws out her back and requires him to go pick their son up from his grammar school in their small town.  At school he meets his son’s teacher () and they have an immediate spark between them, nothing tawdry but a bond that they are helpless to avoid exploring.  He fixes a window in her house and then asks her to play violin for him, which expands his imagination and only intoxicates him further, so that when they begin to carefully explore a physical connection they do so with plenty of care but no ridiculously overwhelming guilt.  This subtle film about big moments in small lives does not rewrite the book on intelligent and thoughtful French cinema, and there’s more than a little class snobbery involved in showing a working class man discovering a new reason for living because he is exposed to classical music.  Thanks to Kiberlain’s not playing her character like a ridiculous bourgeoise, and Lindon’s never overdoing the gruff, silent type, it comes off as honest and sweet, though for everyone it won’t exactly be riveting.

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France, 2009

Directed by

Screenplay by Stephane Brize, , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Independent Spirit Award Nomination
Best Foreign Film

Cesar Award
Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Actress (Sandrine Kiberlain)
Best Supporting Actress (Aure Atika)

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