Lovers of French films are in for a treat this month, as the IFI are bringing a diverse selection of cinéma français to their screens for the IFI French Film Festival 2016.
Far from being the exclusive domain of top level film snobs, there’s somehing to enjoy in French cinema even if you’re not a true fan of Truffaut. The IFI’s programme reflects that, with modern, accessible films from a range of genres by some of the best directors working in France right now, a number of whom will be in attendence for some post screening Q&A. Even the IFI Café Bar will be on theme for the month, offering a menu of French classics for gourmands to enjoy. The IFI French Film Festival is on from the 16th to the 27th this month and the festival programme is available in full here on the IFI’s website. In an effort to help decide from the choices available, here’s a list of some of the most enticing films the festival is offering.
In Bed With Victoria
Virginie Afire stars in this comedy drama about Victoria Spick, a criminal lawyer struggling to have it all. At a wedding she meets former friend Vincent and former client, drug dealer Sam. When Vincent is accuses of trying to murder his girlfriend shortly thereafter, Victoria reluctantly takes him on as a client, hires Sam as an au pair and finds her home life and work life spiralling out of control. Wed 16 Nov 8.00pm/Mon 28 Nov 6.10pm
Imagine a father-son road trip that replaces long, uncomfortable silences with tender but hilarious comedy. Such unattainable goals are the subject of Saint Amour, which sees a widowed cattle farmer (Gerard Depardieu) and his perpetually drunk son (Benoît Poelvoorde) embark on a haphazard tour through French wine country. The film will be screened on Fri 18 Nov (6.20pm) and Tue 22 Nov (8.30pm). Directors Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kerverne will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A after the screening on November 22.
It’s Only the End of the World
The latest film by wunderkind auteur Xavier Dolan, It’s Only the End of the World was the winner of the Grand Prix prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. French acting talents such as Gaspard Ulliel, Leá Seydoux, Vincent Cassel and Marion Cotillard feature as a dysfunctional family thrown into even more disarray when terminally ill-writer Louis (Ulliel) comes home after more than a decade of estrangement. Confrontations and revelations are sure to ensue. Sat 19 Nov 8.30pm/Tue 22 Nov 6.20pm
The Unknown Girl
Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have had a long career of directing grounded, humanist dramas. Their last film may have been the one to receive the most attention from English speaking audiences, with Two Days, One Night receiving widespread acclaim and scoring a Best Actress nomination for Marion Cotillard at the Academy Awards. All of which means that it’s well worth keeping an eye on The Unknown Girl, which sees young doctor Jenny (Adèle Haenel) unsettled by the discovery of a dead, unidentified African woman nearby to her surery. Feeling guilty having turned away an after-hours patient the night before, Jenny takes it upon herself to investigate. Fri 25 Nov 6.15pm