Wednesday’s events kicked off with a 6:30 pm screening of Copacabana, and unconventional comedy by Marc Fitoussi about Babou, a mother who decides to make a few “changes” after her daughter is too embarrassed to invite her to her wedding. Having missed this offbeat comedy, I do plan on catching it again when it’s screened for a second time on Saturday, 27th November at 9 pm.

However I did make it to the quite full screening of the lovely Mademoiselle Chambon at 8.30 pm – a slow and gentle film about the relationship between a married man and his son’s teacher.

Directed by Stéphane Brizé, this film brings us through the heartbreaking turmoil of the quiet builder Jean with a number of sweet subtle shots dappled with a touch of both wry humour and deep insight. A good husband and father, Jean must collect his son from school after his attractive young wife has a minor accident in work. During his visit, he becomes enthralled after a meeting with the vulnerable and artistic Mademoiselle Véronique Chambon.

Jean’s repairing of her window, followed a chance meeting between the pair, sees the attraction between them deepen. However their growing desire to be together may not be enough as events transpire against them. With some superb performances from Vincent Lindon (Jean), Sandrine Kiberlain (Véronique Chambon) and Aure Atika (Anne-Marie), the profound unspoken turmoil invoked by the unfortunate romance is both believable and at times unsettlingly realistic.

Mademoiselle Chambon, which Brizé adapted from a novel by Eric Holder, is a very unique yet simple story, which translated into a very enjoyable piece of cinema.

Click here for details of the festival’s programme of events.

Gemma Creagh


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