Rosalie Blum – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

December 5, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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It’s refreshing to watch a French film about ordinary people. .  Filmed in Nevers, a small town in rural France, it’s all about the characters and a plot which hinges on a series of coincidences.

In his directorial debut, Julien Rappeneau, who also wrote the script, has adapted a popular French graphic novel by Camille Jourdy.  Billed as a comedy, it’s more about the universal human need to connect with others.

Thirty-something Vincent Machot ((Kyan Khojandi) is a hairdresser. He runs his late father’s salon and works there alone – something I found odd as there are plenty of empty chairs.  There is a sense that the town is not prospering.  Vincent’s absent girlfriend, Marianne, lives in Paris and they are drifting apart.

His overbearing mother Simone (Anemone) lives in the apartment above his, where he is at her beck and call and he doesn’t have much of a life. Simone spends most of her time indoors and keeps busy making little dolls to act out the news….and vignettes of real life.  Vincent would like to break free but lacks the spirit.

He is hit with a strong sense of déjà vu when he meets grocery store worker Rosalie Blum (Noemie Lvovsky) and wonders where he has met her before. He starts following her everywhere and keeps his inexplicable behaviour from his close friend and cousin, serial womaniser Laurent (Nicolas Bridet). The decidedly unglamorous and older Rosalie is not a woman to inspire such attachment and it is rather creepy at first, even though he is a bit of a sweetie.

Rosalie appears oblivious to her stalker and goes about her life. Whether she is singing in a choir, drinking in a bar or visiting a nearby prison, all her actions are watched avidly by Vincent.  He is so obsessed he goes through her garbage.

Gradually other characters such as Aude (Alice Isaaz) are introduced and the story starts to be fleshed out and woven together, supplying different perspectives.  To say more would be to give away the well structured plot which does have a few surprises. The performances are good and it’s rather sweet.

3/5 Rated M  96 mins  2016 Released 26 December

In French with subtitles

Starring Noémie Lvovsky, Kyan Khojandi, Alice Isaaz

Directed by Julien Rappeneau

Written by Julien Rappeneau, adapted from the graphic novel by Camille Jourdy

 

 

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