Dir. Bruno Dumont, 2021, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy. 133 min. Color, DCP.
With Léa Seydoux, Blanche Gardin, Benjamin Biolay
In French with English subtitles
Cannes Film Festival 2021
Toronto Film Festival 2021
New York Film Festival 2021
Léa Seydoux brilliantly holds the center of Bruno Dumont’s unexpected, unsettling new film, which starts out as a satire of the contemporary news media before steadily spiraling out into something richer and darker.
Never one to shy away from provoking his viewers, Dumont (The Life of Jesus) casts Seydoux as France de Meurs, a seemingly unflappable superstar TV journalist whose career, homelife, and psychological stability are shaken after she carelessly drives into a young delivery man on a busy Paris street. This accident triggers a series of self-reckonings, as well as a strange romance that proves impossible to shake.
A film that teases at redemption while refusing to grant absolution, France is tragicomic and deliciously ambivalent—a very 21st-century treatment of the difficulty of maintaining identity in a corrosive culture.
France will be released in the US on December 10. Courtesy of Kino Lorber.
“A star vehicle for Léa Seydoux, whose acting is these days hitting a new level of richness.” — Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
Chloe Lizotte is a writer and editor specializing in moving-image topics.