Spoil yourself: what you can’t miss at the 2021 French Film Festival | HerCanberra

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Spoil yourself: what you can’t miss at the 2021 French Film Festival

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HerCanberra has been a proud media partner of the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival for some years now—and I’ve always loved writing these rounds ups.

I love espousing the cultural value of these luscious, hand-picked French films and how sitting in a darkened cinema with some of France’s biggest stars watching complex stories unfold in exquisite settings is almost as good as a plane ticket.

Well, now the joke is on us, dear reader, because now the festival really is our only chance to travel—our only window through which to view the avenues of Paris, the lavender fields of Provence and the rugged coastline of Normandy.

Luckily, the 32nd annual Alliance Francaise French Film Festival gives us the chance to do just that.

From 4-31 March at Palace Electric in NewActon, sink back into a plush chair as you book yourself a one-way ticket to France…almost. We’ve even put together a detailed shortlist of films to see, depending on what you’re craving.

So put that passport away and get booking!

If you want…female empowerment, dark humour and heart-thumping action

The Godmother

I have to admit, I feel quite strongly about The Godmother because I’ve had the pleasure of watching it—and yes, it is as good as the trailer looks.

Isabelle Huppert, one of the biggest stars in French cinema, is Patience Portefeux, an Arabic translator for the Paris Police. But when Patience realises the mother of a drug mule she’s tracking is a friend, she goes off the rails, advising the drug mule to dump his stash.

With her own money troubles and a murky family history of trafficking, Patience dons a new identity—Mrs Ben Barka, a wealthy and mysterious Morrocan woman ready to sell hash to the highest bidder.

Watching Patience balance her drug-dealing with her relationship with a fellow police officer, evade detection and ultimately empower herself is equal parts heart-racing and hilarious.

Better yet, you can see The Godmother as part of our annual HerCanberra Ladies Night on Thursday 11 March from 6 pm, with nibbles, drinks and live entertainment for only $35! Purchase your tickets here.

If you want…some good old fashion romance (and laughs)

Antoinette in the Cévennes

What would you do if your married lover cancels your romantic weekend away because his wife booked a last-minute hiking trip? Join them, of course!

This is the reality of unlucky-in-love Antoinette—and the alternative English title of My Donkey, My Lover and I gives you a good idea of how hilarious this romantic comedy can get.

See showtimes here.

If you want…historical drama

Eiffel

The title is something of a giveaway—after all, it’s possibly the most famous French word after café and croissant—but this film follows the man behind France’s most iconic building, Gustave Eiffel.

You might recognise actress Emma Mackey from Netflix’s Sex Education—surprise! She can speak French! Just another reason to head along to this lush biopic.

See showtimes here.

If you…want something incredibly sexy and French

Appearances

This subtitle sounds somewhat strange, but surely you know what I mean—one of those intense French films with romance, betrayal, affairs, and long looks across parties. Yes—you know the ones. Appearances is one of these films.

Set in Austria, Eve and Henri are the toast of Vienna’s French ex-pat social scene. But when Eve suspects Henri of having an affair with their young son’s school teacher, the couple become embroiled in a tango of deception.

See—told you so!

See showtimes here.

If you…love Celine Dion and extravagant biopics

Aline

Love Celine Dion? Get ready to fall in love with Aline.

This unofficial Celine Dion biopic follows the story of Aline Dieu, a young woman from Quebec who becomes an international singing sensation, but must also come to terms with her feelings for her much older manager.

See showtimes here.

THE ESSENTIALS 

What: The 2021 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival
When: 4-31 March 2021
Where: Palace Electric
Website: affrenchfilmfestival.org

 

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