Earlier this year, we were graced with the beautiful French film Festival hosted by Alliance Francais. With such a prominent streaming presence of English film/television, it’s easy to forget the rich tapestry of films that exist in another language. Also, a great excuse to take yourself on a European trip for a night. For everyone getting FOMO with everyone away in Europe, I encourage you to attend the Italian Film Festival that will run from the 13th of September until the 12th of October
The Kitchen Brigade
By Erika Ng
The Kitchen Brigade is a heart-warming film that will leave viewers skipping out from the theatres. Catalysed by one chef’s desire to run her own kitchen, Cathy (played by Audrey Lamy) finds herself in a kitchen in a countryside shelter. Full of food, passion, and chaos, the film explores France’s immigration issue in a way that leaves viewers hopeful for a resolution.
Humour is at the forefront of this film. Through its supporting characters and witty one-liners, audiences are never left feeling bored. The film holds a steady pace throughout, weaving sentimental and light-hearted scenes together seamlessly.
Although there are no standout performances by any single actor, it is the combination of beautifully simple performances that makes this film such a delight to watch. Finishing with an unexpected twist, this film is food for the soul.
Farewell Mr Haffmann Review
By Erika Ng
Farewell Mr Haffmann is a harrowing movie that raises a lot of moral questions. Starring award-winning actor Daniel Auteuil, audiences are taken back to WW2 Germany, where Auteuil plays a Jewish jewellery maker whose escape goes horribly wrong. Audiences should be prepared to be left speechless throughout the film’s twists and turns, which lead up to a final question of ‘what would you have done’.
One element of the film that is executed especially well is the overall characterisation of both the protagonists and antagonists. Whereas in many films, the division between good and bad is black or white, Farewell Mr Haffmann paints its characters grey, leading viewers to question where the moral line truly lies.
Overall, the film is hard to fault and is a must-watch for casual and hardened filmgoers alike.
By Emma Forsyth
Xavier Giannoli’s film adaptation of Balzac’s book is a cautionary tale about selling out your gifts to the highest bidder, about how naïveté doesn’t stand a chance against the kind of corruption on display in Paris in the 1820s. Lucien’s life is described early on as “a tragedy,” and so, even in all the scenes of triumph that follow, impending disaster is always present.
The film beautifully presents Balzac’s obsessively comprehensive presentation of all aspects of post-French Revolution Parisian society, with everything from the striations and hierarchies at play to the intersecting incestuous worlds of entertainment, media, finance, art, and sex.
The cast is excellent overall, with Benjamin Voisin definitely adding yet another great performance under his belt but after his success in ‘Ete 85’, who would be surprised. His character has a huge journey from country bumpkin to city slicker to ruined man, and he is very effective and well-cast.
If you’re a fan of period pieces (BRIDGERTON) then you will LOVE Lost Illusions.