french films > Suite Française

Suite Française

Suite française

Suite Française

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas, Matthias Schoenaerts

year: 2015

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Saul Dibb

runtime: 107

Based on the best-selling book by Irène Némirovsky and set during the Second World War German occupation of France, Suite française tells the story of Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams) as she awaits news from her husband – a prisoner of war. As Parisian refugees pour into their small town, soon followed by a regiment of German soldiers who take up residence in the villagers’ homes, Lucile’s life is turned upside down – further complicated by the arrival of refined German officer, Bruno (Matthias Schoenaerts). Also starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Ruth Wilson, Sam Riley and Margot Robbie, Suite française is a story about the power of love and the tragedy of war.

In July 1942, Irène Némirovski, the author of the book Suite française, is jewish, she is  arrested, jailed in Pithiviers and then deported to Auschwitz where she later dies. The notebook in which she wrote her manuscripts, is preserved by her daughters and they only read it in 1998. In 2004 at last, the two novels were published as one under the title Suite française.


30/03/2015 - writers_reign said :

I confess to feeling a little disappointed by a film to which I had been looking forward. No one loves French cinema more than I and I do have a penchant for films made during the Occupation - largely of course by the German-owned Continental - and also much later films ABOUT the Occupation and the sad truth is I have been spoiled by such gems as Melville's The Silence Of The Sea and Army Of The Shadows, Tavernier's Safe Conduct and Berri's Lucie Aubrac to name only four and whilst it is true that the heroine is named Lucille she is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a Lucille Aubrac. For reasons best known to themselves the creative team have opted for what was intended as the second book and the negative aspect there is that seen today, some seventy years later this is little more than a string of clichés, the 'good' German, the 'forbidden' love etc. Also the period 'feel' fails to convince for which there is really no excuse; in 1943 moviegoers were aware if only subconsciously that Rick and Ilsa were merely on the backlot at Warners rather actually in Casablanca but they were content to be tricked. Ironically Suite Francaise reeks of the backlot at Pagnol's Victorine Studios, On the credit side it does feature Lambert Wilson.


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