Francophiles and French expats, in the coming weeks we will have a wealth of French movies on our screens for you. Valérie Donzelli’s Marguerite & Julien opens at the Royal on March 4
and the Playhouse and Town Center on March 11. The film is based on the true story of Julien and Marguerite de Ravalet, son and daughter of the Lord of Tourlaville, whose childhood bond veered into a voracious, scandalous passion.
Julie Delpy stars in the comedy Lolo, which she also directed and co-wrote. She plays Violette, a 40-year-old workaholic with a career in the fashion industry who falls for a provincial computer geek, Jean-Rene (Dany Boon). But Jean-Rene faces a major challenge: he must win the trust and respect of Violette’s teenage son, Lolo (Vincent Lacoste), who is determined to wreak havoc on the couple’s fledgling relationship and remain his mother’s favorite. We open Lolo on March 25 at the NoHo, Playhouse and Monica Film Center.
Another comedy is Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite, starring the delightful Catherine Frot. Set in 1920’s Paris, Frot plays Marguerite Dumont, a wealthy music lover who loves to sing for her friends, although she’s a ghastly singer. Both her friends and husband humor her and perpetuate her fantasy that she has talent. The problem begins when she decides to perform for a real audience. We open Marguerite on March 18 at the Playhouse and Town Center and March 25 at the Fine Arts, Monica Film Center and Claremont 5.
On March 25 at the Playhouse and Town Center we’ll open My Golden Days, writer/director Arnaud Desplechin’s rich and extraordinary new feature. An epic yet intimate portrait of youth in all its terrifying beauty, Mathieu Amalric reprises the role of Paul Dédalus from Desplechin’s My Sex Life…or How I Got into an Argument in My Golden Days, the character’s origin story. Paul, now an anthropologist, prepares to leave Tajikistan and reflects on his life. He has a series of flashbacks that unfold in three episodes.
On April 1 at the Royal we’ll open Guillaume Nicloux’s Valley of Love, a mysterious and beautiful examination of a broken family starring acclaimed actors Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu. They play thinly disguised versions of themselves as a separated couple who journey to Death Valley after receiving a mysterious letter from their dead son in the expectations that he will appear to them at a certain place and time in the desert. An official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, Valley of Love opens this year’s Rendezvous in French Cinema Film Festival.
Also opening April 1 at the Royal: Emmanuelle Bercot’s Standing Tall, starring Catherine Deneuve. Abandoned by his mother (Sara Forestier) at the age of 6, Malony (Rod Paradot) is constantly in and out of juvenile court. An adoptive family grows around this young delinquent: Florence (Deneuve), a children’s magistrate nearing retirement, and Yann (Benoît Magimel), a caseworker and himself the survivor of a very difficult childhood. Together they follow the boy’s journey and try unfailingly to save him. Then Malony is sent to a stricter educational center, where he meets a young girl who gives him hope. Here’s the French (un-subtitled) trailer: