Emmet OBrien is at the 27th Cork French Film Festival.
With just two days left in the 27th Cork French Film Festival we wanted to highlight the rest of what is proving to be a very strong festival. From wistful dramas dealing with the onset of adulthood, to gritty crime outings alongside a great educational programme for all ages, the scope of the week has been stellar. It has also given a number of Irish premiere screenings, which has proven to be quite the coup.
Saturday is giving us heady politics with two charged pieces, the first from the turn of the century The Anarchists, a handsomely mounted period drama alive with revolutionary zeal and featuring Adèle Exarchopoulos known for her blistering performance in the modern classic Blue is the Warmest Colour.
Political asylum is the subject of the Palme d’Or winning Dheepan [pictured], a rough and intense view of the final days of the Sri Lanken Civil War and its awful ramifications. Directed by Jacques Audiard, who previously helmed the acclaimed A Prophet, Dheepan is an unconventional exploration of immigrant concerns and unfortunately proves as topical in a conflicted 2016 as it did back in 2009 when the conflict finally came to an end.
Sunday brings us back to a more Gallic setting with the thriller A Perfect Man detailing an unscrupulous actor who pilfers a manuscript of a deceased writer for his own ends. A tale of ethical bankruptcy to further ones career this twisty turny film should give audiences a nice jolt next to its concerns over the authenticity of performance and art.
The Festival comes to a close with The Measure of a Man, a Palme d’Or competing drama from Stephane Brize that showcases Vincent Lindon (in a Cannes-winning Best Actor performance) as a man struggling to hold down a new job to support his disabled child. Using non professional actors to great effect adds a unique frisson to the film and grounds its sober concerns with an unflinching and gripping realism.
With its 30th year just a little bit down the road, the Cork French Film Festival remains as vital and joyful as ever and a perfect feast for not just francophiles but lovers of fine cinema in its myriad forms.