Distribution

Café de Flore

Dir: Jean-Marc Vallée

Canada

2011

121

15

The director of C.R.A.Z.Y. returns with this elegiac, finely crafted paean to love which employs a sophisticated twin narrative structure which spans decades and a sublime soundtrack to excellent effect.

The title “Café de Flore” refers not to the famous Boulevard St-Germain café, but to a musical theme running through the film that connects the characters across time although their connection is not revealed until the final act.

In modern Montreal, DJ Antoine embarks on a new affair with free spirit Rose whilst reflecting on his past life with teenage sweetheart Carole with whom he raised two daughters – the tensions of the present and complications of his current situation causing him to re-visit his past.

Meanwhile in 1969 Paris, Jacqueline (played by a stripped down Vanessa Paradis) is a single mother to Laurent, who is born with Down’s Syndrome. Fiercely protective and ambitious for her son, they have an intensely loving relationship which is disrupted when Laurent makes a new friend at school, Véronique, and Jacqueline becomes threatened by her son’s interests in the wider world.

This is a hugely cinematic film – Vallé employs all the elements of mise-en-scène to create a very emotional, spiritual piece about the possibilities of love, its hell and its heaven and ultimately the promise of redemption it can bring.

This title is no longer available for booking from the ICO

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