The French Film Festival UK reveals its line-up and there are a significant number of features to be excited about as the festival celebrates its 30th anniversary. With stars such as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Tahar Rahim and Blandine Lenoir featuring in some of the titles, the festival presents a high quality line-up that can be enjoyed from 2 November to 15 December in more than 35 cinemas across the UK and at home in partnership with Curzon.
We have copied in some of the titles to watch out for below.
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The Accusation || Les Choses humaines
Stars: Ben Attal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Suzanne Jouannet
Director Yann Gozlan
They are a power couple: he is a famous television presenter, she a writer known for her radical feminism. When their apparently perfect son, who is a student at a prestigious American university, is accused of raping a young Jewish woman while on vacation in Paris, the lives of the two families involved are torn apart.
Black Box || Boîte noire
Cast Pierre Niney, Lou de Laâge, André Dussollier
Director Yann Gozlan
Mathieu is a young and talented black box analyst on a mission to solve the reason behind the deadly crash of a brand new aircraft. When the case is closed by the authorities, Mathieu senses there is something wrong with the evidence. As he listens to the tracks again, he starts detecting some seriously disturbing details. Could the tape have been modified? Going against his boss’s orders, Mathieu begins his own rogue investigation – an obsessional and dangerous quest for truth that will quickly threaten far more than his career.
Don Juan || Don Juan
Cast Tahar Rahim, Virginie Efira
Director Serge Bozon
Having been inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson for his last film Mrs. Hyde, Serge Bozon turns to literary figure Don Juan for this musical comedy-drama. Tahar Rahim co-stars opposite Virginie Efira as an actor who finds himself playing the legendary lothario opposite the woman who jilted him. Frequently slapped, punched or rejected, Rahim plays Laurent with the bemused anguish of a rake who may recognise his failings but seems unable to transcend them.
The Green Perfume || Le Parfum vert
Cast Sandrine Kiberlain, Vincent Lacoste
Director Nicolas Pariser
An actor was poisoned and died on stage in the middle of a performance at the ComédieFrançaise. Martin, a member of the troupe and friend of the victim, becomes a primary suspect while being chased by a mysterious organisation called the Green Perfume. While leading his own investigation, Martin receives the unexpected help of Claire, an eccentric cartoonist in need of adventure. Nicolas Pariser came to the Festival in 2019 with Alice et la maire (Alice and the Mayor).
The Green Shutters || Les Volets verts
Cast Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Benoît Poelvoorde, Stefi Celma
Director Jean Becker
The portrait of a legendary stage actor who was at the peak of his career in the 1970s. Behind the celebrated personality, the real man is about to be revealed – in a touching tango between Gérard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant, orchestrated by the veteran Jacques Becker, a frequent Festival guest.
Incredible But True || Incroyable mais vrai
Cast Roxane Arnal, Alain Chabat, Léa Drucker
Director Quentin Dupieux
In this uproarious sci-fi comedy from director Quentin Dupieux (Rubber, Mandibles), the lives of an ordinary couple, Alain (Alain Chabat) and Marie (Léa Drucker), are turned upside down when they discover that their new suburban home contains a built-in supernatural feature.
Lost Illusions || Illusions perdues
Cast Benjamin Voisin, Cécile de France, Vincent Lacoste, Xavier Dolan, Jeanne Balibar, Gérard Depardieu, Louis-do de Lencquesaing
Director Xavier Giannoli
An all-star cast dazzles in the spectacular and exhilarating new film by Xavier Giannoli (The Singer, Marguerite) – an adaptation of Balzac’s classic novel about a young idealist who learns that anything can be bought and sold. Epic in scope and impact, Lost Illusions is an eerily prescient fable, bracingly attuned to the anxieties of the modern media age. Winner of seven 2022 César Awards including Best Picture, this is grand French cinema at its finest and most lavish.
Our Brothers || Nos frangins
Cast Reda Kateb, Lyna Khoudri, Raphaël Personnaz
Director Rachid Bouchareb
From director Rachid Bouchareb, Our Brothers is based on the story of 22-year-old Malik Oussekine, whose death is believed to have been caused by police violence after several weeks of student protests in 1986 against a university reform bill. Oussekine’s older brother Mohamed (Reda Kateb) as he tries to determine what happened to Malik, and discovers the police who will stop at nothing to hide their misconduct.
The Passengers of the Night || Les Passagers de la nuit
Cast Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emmanuelle Béart, Quito Rayon Richter
Director Mikhaël Hers
On election night in 1981, celebrations spill out onto the streets and there is an air of hope and change throughout Paris. But for Elisabeth (Charlotte Gainsbourg), her marriage is coming to an end and she will now have to support herself and her two teenage children. She finds work at a late-night radio show and encounters a troubled teenager named Talulah whom she invites into her home. With them, Talulah experiences the warmth of a family for the first time.
Peter Von Kant || Peter von Kant
Cast Denis Ménochet, Isabelle Adjani, Khalil Ben Gharbia
Director François Ozon
François Ozon goes back to his roots with this reworking of a Fassbinder classic – 1972’s hyperstylised chamber piece The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant – and offers a gender-swapped version that serves as an indirect portrait of the troubled maestro himself. Both homage and critique, Peter von Kant astutely gets under the skin of the lesbian-themed original, and ekes out new resonances. Superb performances from a cast across the age spectrum – including a flamboyantly knowing diva turn from Isabelle Adjani.
Jane by Charlotte || Jane par Charlotte
Cast Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin
Director Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Gainsbourg offers a truthful, touching, intimate portrait of her mother, Jane Birkin, the legendary British model, singer and actor. Looking back on their lives together in a series of soft-spoken, extremely personal mother-daughter conversations, these two celebrated women touch on Birkin’s extraordinary lives with her three partners — British composer John Barry, French singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, and French filmmaker Jacques Doillon. This spare, delicate portrait of a fascinating, now 76-year-old mother by a daughter who clearly cherishes her emerges as a frank portrayal of two very human, insecure, talented women, as they take stock of both the joys and the tragedies they have shared over the years.
More Than Ever || Plus que jamais
Cast Vicky Krieps, Gaspard Ulliel, Bjørn Floberg, Liv Ullmann
Director Emily Atef
In her fifth feature, German-French-Iranian filmmaker Emily Atef casts Vicky Krieps as a 33year-old French woman whose discovery that she is suffering from a rare lung disease prompts a solo journey to Norway. The late Gaspard Ulliel co-stars in his last feature role (he died in a skiing accident earlier this year) as her boyfriend, who tries to come to terms with her condition and the finality of her death. Selected for Cannes Un Certain Regard and the London Film Festival.
Synopses courtesy of FFFUK.