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The 2018 French Film Festival: six highlights

Elsie Adamo

Post-holiday blues getting you down?

The 2018 Alliance Française French Film Festival is here to transport you to France with a huge array of amazing films in March. We’ve hand-picked some highlights below, but with 50 films on show from 1 – 28 March, there’s sure to be something for everyone, as the stylish 2018 trailer shows.

Why not spoil yourself and buy a multiticket pass so you can spend a couple weeks in a haze of beautiful cinema? After looking over the program, that’s certainly what we’re planning to do.

Opening night: C’est la vie! / Le Sens de la fête

Opening the festival this year is C’est la Vie!, a comedy starring Jean-Pierre Bacri. Hilarity ensues as the film follows Max Angély, a celebrated caterer and event planner trying desperately to ensure that his latest job, an expensive and elaborate wedding in a 17th-century chateau, doesn’t dissolve into tragedy. Well reviewed overseas, this is the first time it’s shown in Australia, so it’s sure to be a highlight.

Let the Sunshine In / Un Beau Soleil Intérieur

No French film festival is complete without a little Juliette Binoche, and it’s looking like her latest film, Let the Sunshine In, won’t disappoint. Binoche is Isabelle, a divorcee who is struggling with her singleton identity in her (slightly) older age. The female-driven dramatic comedy was also female-driven behind the camera too. Directed by Claire Denis, this film delves a little deeper than your standard romantic comedy.


As HerCanberra are proud sponsors of the Canberra leg of the Festival, we’ll be hosting a Ladies Night which will include a showing of Let The Sunshine In.

Pencil Wednesday 21 March in your diaries and join us for some wine and canapes at 6.30 pm before the screening starts at 7 pm!

The Return of the Hero / Le Reour du Héros

The Return of the Hero is a comedy sure to delight those who love a good bonnet drama. Starring Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Bastards), the film follows lothario-turned-faux-hero Captain Neuville, who returns to his hometown after a long absence at the front in an to attempt to win back his previously betrothed. However, he finds that her sister, Elisabeth, has been penning fake letters from him, making him out to be much more of a hero than is strictly true.

If it all seems a bit far-fetched or confusing, watch the trailer, it’s downright hilarious.

Dr. Knock / Knock

Dr. Knock is based on a much-loved 1923 satirical play Triomphe de la médecine, with a modern twist. The dramedy stars French superstar Omar Sy (The Intouchables) as Dr. Knock, a former conman turned GP, who moves to a French country town to become wealthy by conning its wealthy, healthy inhabitants into thinking that maybe they’re not so healthy.

Initially, the local priest is the only one suspicious of his behaviour, but as always, the doctor’s past eventually catches up with him.

Back to Burgundy / Ce qui nous lie

Back to Burgundy is the tipple (sorry) that will transport you from Canberra  to beautiful French wine country. Set in one of France’s best-known winemaking regions, Back to Burgundy centres on the return of the oldest of three siblings from Australia to help his brother and sister take over the family vineyard in anticipation of the death of their father.

Packed with sibling camaraderie and tension, this film is a beautiful exploration of adulthood, family, and what home really means (and of course, plenty of discussions about wine).

CLOSING NIGHT: 50 is the New 30 / Marie-Francine

Billed for the Festival’s closing night, 50 is the new 30 is a hilarious romantic comedy about dating at ‘a certain age’.

The film stars Valerie Lemercier as 50-year-old old Marie-Francine, who finds herself downsized from her job in the same week she is told by her husband he’s leaving for a younger woman. So she decides she needs to move back in with her over-bearing parents whilst opening an e-cigarette boutique – an obvious move, right?

Get in quickly, opening and closing nights sell out fast.

the essentials

What: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2018
When: 1-28 March
Where: Palace Electric Cinema

HerCanberra are proud sponsors of the 2018 Alliance Française French Film Festival


Elsie Adamo

Elsie originally hails from South Australia but after almost five years in the Capital likes to consider herself now as a local. A student at ANU she keeps herself busy on campus with student societies and now interning at HerCanberra. Her great loves include sitcoms, podcasts, bookstores, cider, brunch and online shopping. More about the Author

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