Suite Française is based on the wartime memoirs of Irène Némirovsky, which, after they were rediscovered in 1998, quickly became a publishing sensation.
Némirovsky’s notes, written during the Occupation of France, recount her relationship with a refined German officer in a classic story of lovers kept apart by the inconvenience of war. What set them apart from other journals of this period was the level of reflection included by the author.
In this new screen adaptation, director Saul Dibb (The Duchess, Bullet Boy) succeeds in recreating the tone of the novel, bringing to a very personal story both great emotion and the wider scope of history.
1944: in a small town in Northern France, Lucille Angellier (Michelle Williams) lives unhappily with her controlling mother in law (Kristin Scott Thomas, at her best) as they wait for news of her husband, a POW.
When German troops occupy the town, one of the commanding officers (Matthias Schoenaerts) is billeted with Lucille, and the two begin a hesitant relationship which brings into focus Lucille’s real feelings and allegiances.