SUITE FRANÇAISE (15)
SUITE FRANÇAISE (15)
Run time: 107mins
Director: Saul Dibb
Cast: Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas, Matthias Schoenaerts, Sam Riley, Harriet Walter, Margot Robbie, Ruth Wilson
Synopsis: Adapted from the best-selling book by by Irène Némirovsky this is a powerful story of love, loss and the tragedy set during wartime. During the first days of occupation of France in 1940, Lucile Angellier finds herself trapped with her overbearing mother-in-law, awaiting news of her husband, who is being held captive as a prisoner of war. When the handsome and refined German soldier Bruno takes residency in the town, she reluctantly finds herself drawn to him and into the tragedy of war
Michelle Williams turns in a beautiful, understated performance as a young woman (Lucile) who is living a stifling existence with her landowner, mother-in-law, Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas) during the first days of France’s occupation in 1940 awaiting news of her captured husband. When the sensitive, cultured German officer Bruno von Falk (a superbly brooding Matthias Schoenaerts) is housed with them, Lucile starts to feel a complicated love blossoming. This is set against the backdrop of the various domestic disputes and class struggles of the villagers under Nazi occupation.
The redoubtable Kristin Scott Thomas excels as the steely matriarch, Madame Angellier, who reveals another side as the film progresses.
Director Saul Dibb (The Duchess, 2008; The Line of Beauty, 2006) gives us a beautiful, intense and poignant film which is a fitting tribute to the famous unfinished book by Irène Némirovsky who tragically died in Auschwitz aged just 39.
Suite Francaise is a tense, complex story with no moral certainties – early on Madame Angellier says, ‘If you want to see what people are truly made of – you start a war.’
The film benefits from a truly authentic feel and from a superb supporting ensemble cast; while cinematography from Eduard Grau and music by Rael Jones beautifully underscore this Spring must see.
Images courtesy of Entertainment One