French cinema seems better than either the British or the USA industries in bringing on the talents of women filmmakers. And this film which opens this week is a good example. It won the prestigious Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The director, Mia Hansen-Løve, is Parisian who has directed several fine films including Father of My Children (Le père de mes enfants 2009), Goodbye First Love (Un amour de jeunesse 2011) and Eden (2014). She writes her own screenplays successfully, something that many young directors would be well advised to avoid. She also has some experience of acting in films, which probably helps her work. And she partners the filmmaker Oliver Assayas, which probably also helps, though they have very distinctive styles and interests.
Starring in the film is one of the outstanding contemporary actresses Isabelle Hubert, a fellow Parisian. She has deservedly received a profile and extended interview in the September issue of Sight & Sound. She was recently seen at the Hyde Park Picture House in Valley of Love (2015). This was not a great film but was worth watching for the performances of Hubert and of her co-star Gérard Depardieu. Both are formidable presences in European cinema, and indeed beyond. My earliest memory of Isabelle Hubert is dashing from NFT Screen I to NFT Screen II to watch The Lacemaker (La dentellière, 1977). It was a great introduction and I have enjoyed every facet of her career since. Not all her films are great, but if she has appeared in a bad movie it is one I have missed.
So reckon a real treat in store and a must to see.