The France in question is TV journalist France de Meurs, played with delicious wit and nuance by the excellent Léa Seydoux – although it could just as well refer to the country itself.
At turns funny and moving, this satirical tragicomedy by Bruno Dumont is a commentary on the relationship between the media and social media and the fictions fomented therein.
It follows France as she unravels from unflappable anchor and war correspondent to a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It all starts when she accidentally knocks a delivery driver off his bike, kicking off a chain of events that see her marriage strained to the limit, her career go off the rails and… well , let’s just say there are some surprises along the way. The noxious nature of fame is examined as France tries desperately to rebuild her life.
Dumont, who wrote the film as well as directing it, said: “France is the story of a star woman journalist on a 24-hour news channel against the backdrop of a world thrown out of whack by the ‘almost parallel world’ of media and social networks. […] France de Meurs is the embodiment of this star journalist of the media system, a real cinema heroine, a tragic conscience, all illuminated, completely human.”
Alongside Seydoux’s captivating performance, a shout-out must go to Blanche Gardin for her delightful portrayal of Lou, France’s well-meaning but hapless (and slightly batty) producer. Also turning in a moving, gently underplayed performance as Fred de Meurs, France’s long-suffering writer husband, is the laconic singer-songwriter Benjamin Biolay. Quirky, dark and utterly absorbing, France is one to watch out for.
Director: Bruno Dumont
Starring: Léa Seydoux, Blanche Gardin, Benjamin Biolay
From France Today Magazine
Lead photo credit : Blanche Gardin and Lea Seydoux in "France."
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