Belgium | Luxembourg | France 2016
Opening July 6, 2017
Directed by: Bravo Defurne
Writing credits: Bravo Defurne, Yves Verbraeken, Jaques Boon
Principal actors: Isabelle Huppert, Kévin Azaïs, Johan Leysen, Jan Hammenecker, Anne Brionne
Liliane's (Huppert) life is boring and monotonous. Her days as a once famous singer are long gone since she came second at the Eurovision Song Contest during the 1970s. After the marriage to her manager fell apart her career never picked up again. Now she decorates liver paté in a meat factory to earn her living. She finds herself attracted to the 22-year-old Jean (Azaïs) temporarily working there. Jean recognizes her as the ex-singer “Laura”. He admires her, and after much denial, she eventually admits to it. Jean is training as a boxer and asks her to perform at his sports club. She reluctantly agrees but only as a private favor. There is to be no press coverage. Despite her urgent wish, a TV crew appears. This makes her angry and she feeling betrayed by Jean. When he tries to calm her, they wind up in bed together. Despite the huge age difference they become lovers. The young man believes in her talent, encouraging her for a comeback. Jean is building up her confidence by acting as her manager. It is touching to see Liliane, aka Laura, sparkling again, enjoying the attention. But also Jean is visibly “growing up” in her presence.
This light-hearted musical romance relies on the fine performance of Isabelle Huppert as a chanteuse and could easily have become kitschy. “I wanted to make a movie for Sunday afternoons,” said the Belgian director Bravo Defurne when he introduced the film at the London Film Festival. Therefore, sit back and enjoy this sweet romantic drama with music by Pink Martini. (Birgit S.)