La Famille Bélier
Cert: 12A Year: 2014 Length: 106 mins Language: French
Cinema Handout (PDF 82KB)
Score: 85.86% Attendance: 128
We always try to get the season started with a film which will open your hearts to the joys of watching foreign films without making you work...too hard. 'La Famille Bélier' seems to be made just for us; it is French, it has some ideas to make you think, whilst remaining, at heart, a comedy drama to sit back and enjoy. What better way to get over the January blues?
Paula is 16 years old and lives with her younger brother, Quentin, and their Mum and Dad, who are simple, if eccentric, dairy farmers. All is as it should be...except Paula is the only one who is not deaf.
The family live as normal a life as possible (Dad even wants to stand as Mayor), though Paula is left to translate to the outside world, leaving her family very dependent on her. When she meets Gabriel, she decides to join his choir to be around him; not a problem to start with, but what happens if her singing talent leads her away from home?
So the bigger issues, then, are scattered amongst the comedy. It is all held together by some great acting: local stars Francois Damiens and Karin Viard play the parents with Luca Gelberg (the only actual deaf actor) playing Quentin, but the main plau-dits are reserved for Louane Emera (Paula) who won the César for most promising actress here - "It wouldn’t work, though, without the Julia Stiles-ish Emera's solid-gold knockout performance: both singing and signing, while describing a young woman overcoming understandable reservations about allowing her voice to be heard" - Mike McCahill, Guardian. Appropriately, she was discovered via her singing talents in the French version of 'The Voice'.
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