IFFR Review: France

France in a warzone

While she’s best known for high profile roles in Blue is the Warmest Colour and as Dr. Madeleine Swann in the Bond films, Léa Seydoux has been working in the industry for the last fifteen years. Collaborating with the likes of Wes Anderson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Quentin Tarantino and Woody Allen, as well as receiving five acting nominations for the Césars in her native France. In her latest film, France, she is literally the star of the show.

France de Meurs (Seydoux) is the top journalist at French TV channel I. Indeed, she’s the most famous reporter in the whole of the country. People come up to her in the street, desperate for a picture or an autograph. While she might get the stories in a rather unorthodox way, as long as she’s bringing the suffering of others to her fans, France has no problem with it. That is until her life just suddenly falls apart.

Director Bruno Dumont is known to be prickly, eccentric and idiosyncratic at the best of times, but in France he really goes to town. Taking aim at French politicians and the news media, he lampoons and taunts them at every step. The end result is often hit and miss but France is worth seeing just to bask in an acting masterclass from Seydoux. The entire film her canvas, breaking more walls than a whole demolition crew.

France screens at International Film Festival Rotterdam.  

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