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World Cinema Now
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France, 2010, 105 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Belgium
Topics: Comedy, Women
Program: World Cinema Now
Language: French English Sub-Titles

Perhaps the greatest French actress of the last 35 years, the ageless Isabelle Huppert has come to be defined by her serious roles in films by the likes of Michael Haneke. Here she shows another (wonderful) side of herself as Babou, a fun-loving and defiantly anti-bourgeois mother whose footloose-and-fancy-free ways give her straitlaced daughter Esmeralda (Huppert’s real-life daughter Lolita Chammah, who’s obviously inherited her mother’s acting genes) a serious case of heartburn.

After a falling out in which Esmeralda makes it plain that her mother is not wanted at her wedding, Babou, in an effort to reform her errant ways, takes the only job on offer—selling timeshare condos in Oostende, Belgium, which is very funny if you know Oostende. That she becomes a success is even funnier. Writer-director Marc Fitoussi skillfully integrates the comedic and the socially perceptive in his tight screenplay, sketching a charming picture of familial dysfunction and rapprochement that is completely lacking in cynicism, much to the film’s credit. And to see Huppert and her daughter having such a good time while doing such a great job is priceless.

DIRECTOR: Marc Fitoussi
Producer: Caroline Bonmarchand
Editor: Martine Giordano
Screenwriter: Marc Fitoussi
Cinematographer: Hélène Louvart
Music: Tim Gane, Sean O’Hagan
Principal Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Lolita Chammah, Aure Atika, Jurgen Delnaet, Chantal Banlier, Magali Woch
Filmography: La vie d’artiste (2007)
Print Source: RAMONDA Paris

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