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Astérix et Obélix: Au Service de Sa Majesté

Screenings in London for the French Film Festival UK

From 08/11/2012 at 20:00 to 02/02/2012 at 22:00

ASTERIX® & OBELIX®: In Britain

Astérix et Obélix: Au Service de Sa Majesté

France/Spain/Italy/Hungary | 2012 | col | 110 mins | dir. Laurent Tirard, with Edouard Baer, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Jugnot, Jean Rochefort, Valérie Lemercier | cert. PG | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

From the books by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo | Screenplay: Laurent Tirard and Grégoire Vigneron | Adaptation rights: Les éditions Albert René

Astérix and Obélix Astérix (Edouard Baer) and Obélix (Gérard Depardieu) cross the channel to help Anticlimax and the Queen of the Britons (Catherine Deneuve) stand strong against Julius Caesar and the invading Romans. The fourth instalment of the franchise follows Gauls, Britons, Normans and Romans caught up in a crazy chase for the magic potion upon which the salvation of a nation depends...


Thu 8 Nov 8.30pm | £15, conc. £12 | book online

Opening gala, Q&A tba

Enjoy a glass of wine courtesy of Plaimont from 7.30pm




L'Ordre et la morale

France | 2011 | col | 136 mins | dir. Mathieu Kassovitz, with Mathieu Kassovitz , Malik Zidi, Alexandre Steiger, Daniel Martin, Jean-Philippe Puymartin | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles

Rebellion It’s been almost twenty years now since Mathieu Kassovitz seized attention with his angry, snarling and uncompromising debut La Haine. He’s still as angry in his gritty thriller set in the tropical landscapes of the New Caledonia jungle with distinct shades of Apocalypse Now. A principled police negotiator becomes caught up in the territory’s struggle for emancipation on the eve of France's 1988 presidential election. Rebellion pairs high-octane action sequences with an intricate plot about how the insidious nature of politics. Throughout, Kassovitz confirms his reputation as one of France's most subtle and sympathetic actors.


Fri 9 Nov 8.30pm | book online


Three Tickets for the 26th

Trois places pour le 26

France | 1988 | col | 103 mins | dir. Jacques Demy, with Yves Montand, Mathilda May, Françoise Fabian, Catriona MacColl, Paul Guers, Antoine Bourseiller | cert. 12 | in French with English subtitles

Three Tickets for the 26th Yves Montand stars as Yves Montand, in Marseilles for a show based on his life. Jacques Demy's last live-action film was also one of Montand’s final films, made three years before his death 30 years ago. Very much a burst-into-song, MGM-style musical that Demy loved, it is also something of fictionalised biopic of Montand who plays himself as he prepares for Montand Remembers, the show-within-the-film, and reminisces about his life and career while rehearsing. Demy indulges his penchant for nostalgic choreography, mother-daughter relationships and structural complications (the fictionalised Montand on screen appearing as an unfictionalised Montand on stage). This secret gem was Demy's farewell to cinema.


Sat 10 Nov 2.00pm | £8, conc. £6 | book online

Introduced by Daniel Armogathe, President of the Marseilles Cinémathèque


What’s in a Name?

Le Prénom

2012 | col | 109 mins | dir.s. Alexandre de la Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte, with Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui, Charles Berling, Guillaume de Tonquédec, Judith El Zein | cert. 12 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

What’s in a Name? A bunch of forty-something friends find their dinner date transformed into a dinner nightmare in this amusing and well-acted farce in the pure tradition of such boulevard classics as Le Dîner de cons and Le Père Noël est une ordure. Adapting their highly successful stage version to the screen with keen comic-timing, Mathieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patelliere offer up a lively take on love, friendship and the agonising over a baby’s name. A couple organises a dinner party. Although the gang seems to hang out often, this particular soirée is the occasion for Vincent to announce the name of his unborn baby, which provokes an uproar among the group. Cue for fun and games …


Sat 10 Nov 4.10pm | book online

Mon 12 Nov 8.40pm | book online


Mobile Home

France | 2012 | col | 93 mins | dir. François Pirot, with Arthur Dupont, Guillaume Gouix, Jean-Paul Bonnaire | cert. tbc | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Mobile Home Simon and Julien are old friends, living with their respective parents deep in the bucolic Belgian countryside. Simon recently moved back after splitting with girlfriend Sylvie while Julien never left home, staying to look after his ill father, Luc.Arthur suggests that he and Julien should buy a motorised caravan and hit the road for a grand adventure, working as seasonal workers and taking no real responsibilities in life. It’s all set against the lush countryside and the sleepy warmth of village life and shot on impressive widescreen cinematography.


Sat 10 Nov 8.30pm | book online

Followed by a Q&A with dir. François Pirot and actors Guillaume Gouix and Arthur Dupont



France | col | 111 mins | dir. Gilles Bourdos, with Michel Bouquet, Vincent Rottiers, Christa Theret | cert. tbc | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Renoir In his twilight years, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy. Andrée will become his last model, and the wellspring of a remarkable rejuvenation. Back at the family home to convalesce, Jean too falls under the spell of the new, redheaded star in the Renoir firmament. In their Mediterranean Eden he falls in love with this wild, untameable spirit... and as he does so, within weak-willed, battle-shaken Jean, a filmmaker begins to grow.


Sun 11 Nov 5.00pm | book online

Preview screening courtesy of Soda Pictures


Partners in Crime

Associés contre le crime

France | 2012 | col | 104 mins | dir. Pascal Thomas, with Catherine Frot, Andre Dussollier, Linh-Dan Pham, Nicolas Marie | cert. 12 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Partners in Crime The fourth adaptation by French director Pascal Thomas (Le Grand appartement) of Agatha Christie’s eponymous short story collection reteams ace actors Catherine Frot and André Dussollier as the Sherlocking, now semi-retired Beresfords. Thomas throws any real suspense by the wayside to deliver a slew of outlandishly surreal set pieces and non sequiturs, as if the great Dame of Mystery were remixed by the likes of Ruiz and Resnais. The action kicks off with the suave Belisaire (Dussollier) promoting his brand new autobiography. But while her hubby has decided to temporarily swap his magnifying glass for a paintbrush, Prudence sets up her own detective agency and embarks on the case of a missing Russian heiress, last seen at an exclusive Swiss spa.


Sun 11 Nov 7.15pm | book online

Preview screening courtesy of Studiocanal



Des vents contraires

France | 2012 | col | 91 mins | dir. Jalil Lespert, with  Benoît Magimel, Isabelle Carré, Audrey Tautou, Ramzy Bedia, Antoine Duléry | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Headwinds One of France’s finest young actors, Jalil Lespert can now, on the strength of his second film as director, be seen as one of its most promising filmmakers as well. Based on the best-seller by Oliver Adam, Headwinds  begins as the marriage between Paul (Benoît Magimel) and Sarah (Audrey Tautou) appears to be unraveling. One morning, Sarah goes for a run and never returns; the police investigate, but come to no conclusion. Paul moves back to the seaside town in Brittany where he was raised, beginning a long process of healing after long years of self-doubt and emotional turmoil. Benoît Magimel simply has never been better: beneath his gruff exterior, one can feel a mountain of vulnerability.


Mon 12 Nov 6.30pm | book online


A World Without Women

Un monde sans femmes

France | 2011 | col | 57 mins | dir. Guillaume Brac, with Vincent Macaigne, Laure Calamy, Constance Rousseau and Laurent Papot | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

A World Without Women The story revolves around the quintessentially sleepy town of Ault, where men have little chance of meeting potential girlfriends. The life of Sylvain, played to perfection by Vincent Macaigne, is considerably brightened when a mother and daughter come from Paris. We follow his evolving friendship with the pair as the mother, Patricia, is propositioned by various men in the town.

Showing with

The Castaway (dir. Guillaume Brac, 2010, 21 mins)


Tue 13 Nov 6.30pm | book online


Happiness Never Arrives Alone

Un Bonheur n'arrive jamais seul

France | 2012 | col | 109 mins | dir. James Huth, with Sophie Marceau, Gad Elmaleh, Maurice Barthélémy | cert. 12 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Happiness Never Arrives Alone James Huth (Lucky Luke, Brice de Nice) continues this exploration of genre films with a romantic comedy starring Sophie Marceau and Gad Elmaleh. Sacha (Elmaleh) is a jazz pianist and confirmed bachelor who only goes out with girls under 21; Charlotte (Marceau) who works for a modern art foundation and has two ex-husbands, three children and a Philippine nanny. Sacha lives in an attic in Montmartre, Paris; Charlotte lives in a tiny apartment in an expensive neighborhood. This Parisian romcom comes draped in Hollywood attire and has oodles of energy, gloss and some of Motown’s greatest hits within an otherwise conventional tale of a romance surviving the test of angry husbands, jealous bros, and obnoxious kids.


Tue 13 Nov 8.30pm | book online


Our Children

A perdre la raison

Belgium/Luxemburg/Switzerland/France | 2012 | col | 110 mins | dir. Joachim Lafosse, with Emilie Dequenne, Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Stéphane Bissot, Mounia Raoui, Redouane Behache, Baya Belal, Nathalie Boutefeu | cert. 18 | in French with English subtitles | preview screening

Our Children Belgian director Joachim Lafosse turns a real-life incident into an arresting portrait of one woman's gradual slide into the abyss. Featuring a riveting lead performance from Emilie Dequenne as a young mother caught between two men (A Prophet stars Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup) in a claustrophobic nightmare, this penetrating psychological drama emerges as a tightly wound study of domestic malaise. Inspired by events which took place in a suburb of Brussels in 2007, the script – co-written with Thomas Bidegain (Rust and Bone) and Matthieu Reynaert – sticks to many of the facts in the case of Geneviève Lhermitte, who turned herself into the police after coldly and clinically murdering her children with a kitchen knife.


Wed 14 Nov 6.30pm | book online

Preview screening courtesy of Pecadillo UK


You Will Be My Son

Tu seras mon fils

France | 2010 | col | 102 mins | dir. Gilles Legrand, with Niels Arestrup, Lorànt Deutsch, Patrick Chesnais | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

You-Will-Be-My-Son An unexpected hit of the harvest season in France Gilles Legrand has produced a vintage and full-bodied drama with a lingering after-taste. Paul de Marseul (Niels Arestrup) is a distinguished vintner in the St-Emilion region. He’s deeply attached to his vineyard and, now that he is ageing, is obsessed with passing it all down to posterity. Normally that should be his son, Martin (Lorant Deutsch). The problem is that Paul has no confidence in Martin; he seems barely able to stand him at all.


Wed 14 Nov 8.40pm | £12, conc. £10 | book online

Followed by a Q&A with dir. Gilles Legrand

Preview screening courtesy of Swipe Films. A free glass of Clos Fourtet wine (the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru vineyard featured in the film) will be offered from 7.30pm



La Pirogue

France/Senegal | 2012 | col | 87 mins | dir. Moussa Touré, with Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Laity Fall, Malamine Drame “Yalenguen,” Balla Diarra | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles

La-Pirogue Moussa Touré's drama chronicles a group of West African immigrants who attempt a hazardous illegal crossing to mainland Europe. Illuminating the desperate and moving human stories behind lurid headlines about illegal immigration, La Pirogue is a colourful and compelling drama about a boat full of would-be economic migrants attempting the perilous weeklong Atlantic crossing from Senegal to mainland Europe.


Thu 15 Nov 6.30pm | book online


Declaration of War

France | 2011 | col | 100 mins | dir. Valérie Donzelli, with Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, César Desseix | cert. tbc | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Declaration of War Based on real-life events experienced by filmmaker Valérie Donzelli and co-star/writer Jérémie Elkaïm,  Declaration of War tells the powerful story of a young Parisian couple suddenly dragged from their carefree existence by an unexpected twist of fate. What should be a harrowing tale— they have to deal with their infant son’s brain tumor—is given a fiercely playful, almost joyous spin in this extremely well-acted, deceptively offbeat second feature from Donzelli. The mood plays like something Jacques Demy and François Truffaut might have cooked up together. But actor-director Valérie Donzelli’s second film simply is a joy to watch.

César for Best film, Best Actress, Best Director, 2012


Fri 16 Nov 8.40pm | book online

Sat 17 Nov 2.00pm | book online


A Better Life

Une vie meilleure

France | 2011 | col | 110 mins | dir. Cédric Kahn, with Guillaume Canet, Leïla Bekhti,, Slimane Khettabi | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

A Better Life Trained chef Yann can’t find restaurant work in Paris. But during one interview, he does find a girlfriend, Nadia, and the two quickly fall into a family unit, along with Nadia’s young son, Slimane. Yann sets his sights on a decrepit building in a Paris suburb, deciding to renovate it and start his own fine-dining outfit. But the debt required to get off the ground starts to pile up. When Nadia must go to Montréal to accept a more lucrative job, she leaves Slimane in Yann’s care. Once Nadia disappears from her Canadian outpost, the desperation of each individual’s situation is ratcheted higher and higher. Cédric Kahn’s taut look at life on the fringes arrives at a poignant historical time, when one man’s necessity is another’s luxury.


Sat 17 Nov 4.15pm | book online


Camille Rewinds

Camille Redouble

France | 2012 | col | 120 mins | dir. Noémie Lvovsky, with Noémie Lvovsky, Samir Guesmi, Yolande Moreau, Michel Vuillermoz, Denis Podalydès, Mathieu Almaric | cert. 12 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Camille Rewinds A writer, actor and filmmaker with an enthusiastic fanbase at home, Noémie Lvovsky’s track record has ensured enormous popularity for this universal story of love and regret which also feels funny and charming at the same time. Lvovsky directs, co-writes and stars as Camille, a 40-year-old Parisian drowning in alcoholic anguish after splitting up from her former childhood sweetheart Eric after 25 happy years together. In the depths of her boozy despair, she experiences a kind of fairy-tale flashback and wakes up in 1985.


Sat 17 Nov 6.30pm | book online

Followed by a Q&A with Director and Actor Noemie Lvovsky


The Suicide Shop

Le Magasin des suicides

France | 2012 | col | 79 mins | dir. Patrice Leconte, with Bernard Alane, Isabelle Spade, Kacey Mottet Klein | animation | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

The Suicide Shop Patrice Leconte’s animated black comedy about suicidal adults is based on Jean Teulé’s novel, which often has been adapted for the stage but never cinema. Leconte borrows a bit of style from Tim Burton's sketchbook for his first feature animation foray, which includes musical numbers and has an upbeat, old-fashioned look that appeals across the board. In a gloomy city where recession rhymes with depression, everyone is downbeat and anxious to leave this cruel world. The Tuvache's family Suicide Shop, tucked away on a back alley, sells ropes and poison, guns and knives, and more exotic implements for a quick trip to the Sweet Hereafter. The director, despite the subject matter, opts for a very bright and happy ending suitable for all ages.


Sun 18 Nov 4.15pm | £8, conc. £6 | book online


Armed Hands

Mains armées

France | 2012 | col | 105 mins | dir. Pierre Jolivet, with Roschdy Zem, Leila Bekhti, Marc Lavoine | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Armed Hands A hard-nosed detective and his estranged narc daughter collide in this policier starring Roschdy Zem (Point Blank) and Leila Bekhti (A Prophet) as père et fille facing up to Serbian arms dealers, corrupt corps and their own communication breakdown. Kicking off in Marseilles, where illegal arms investigator, Lucas Skali (Zem), and his squad of eager officers catch wind of a gun smuggling operation based in Serbia, the story soon shifts to Paris, where the team follows a trail of clues they hope will lead to the big bust. Anyone who has relished the thrills and spills of the Gallic TV series Spiral will find much to appreciate in the daily grind of tough cops and equally macho hoods.


Sun 18 Nov 6.15pm | book online

Followed by a Q&A with lead actor Roshdy Zem (tbc) and dir. Pierre Jolivet (confirmed)


Almayer's Folly

La Folie Almayer

France/Belgium | 2011 | col | 128 mins | dir. Chantal Akerman with Stanislas Merhar, Aurora Marion and Marc Barbé | cert. 15 | in French with English subtitles

Almayer's Folly Chantal Akerman’s masterful and mesmerising Almayer’s Folly freely adapts Joseph Conrad’s first novel. A European trader’s dreams of striking it rich in Malaysia have faded; all he has is his ruptured relationship with his half-Malay daughter. From its startling opening—the stabbing of an entertainer at an outdoor music bar - the film unfolds with trancelike power. Beautifully photographed in thick jungle terrain, the film synthesises the long-take formalism of Akerman’s earlier work with the spontaneity of her documentaries; it is as much influenced by F. W. Murnau and Robert Flaherty’s Tabu as it is by Conrad.


Mon 19 Nov 8.30pm | book online

Followed by a Q&A with dir. Chantal Akerman



France | 2011 | col | 77 mins | dir. Sophie Lellouche, with Alice Taglioni, Patrick Bruel, Marine Delterme, Louis-Do de Lencquescaing | cert. tbc | in French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Paris-Manhattan The eternal wisdom of Woody Allen informs Paris-Manhattan, writer/director Sophie Lellouche’s breezy romantic comedy about a young woman whose choices in life and love are shaped by the philosophies of her favourite filmmaker. Dreamy pharmacist Alice is totally obsessed with the works of Mr. Allen. Alice’s increasingly concerned family hopes to cure her fixation by setting her up with a handsome French gentleman (Patrick Bruel), but even he quickly realises that he’s no match for the man of her dreams... Playfully poking fun at France’s ongoing love affair with the acclaimed New York auteur,  Paris-Manhattan is a fun and brazenly nostalgic comedy for anyone ever bitten by the Woody bug, or the City of Lights.


Sat 24 Nov 6.30pm | book online

Followed by a Q&A with dir. Sophie Lellouche (confirmed) and lead actress Alice Taglioni (tbc)

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