The fifth annual French Film Festival starts tonight in Auckland. 20 films—17 works of fiction and three documentaries—screen over the next week and a half at the Academy Cinemas and The Victoria Picture Palace. The festival’s tentpole film this year is Mathieu Amalric’s Tournée. In his first film as director, the actor plays a Parisian TV producer intent on touring an American burlesque troupe (which he picked up while in the States) through the south of France.
Other highlights include a documentary about Yves Saint Laurent and his partner in life and work, Pierre Bergé—and the auctioning of the wealth of art and near-priceless treasures they amassed in a life together—L’amour Fou; Michel Gondry’s profile of his aunt Suzette and her son Jean-Yves, L’épine Dans le Cœur; Copacabana, a lightweight drama-cum-comedy starring the always wonderful Isabelle Huppert, and Hors-la-Loi, Algeria’s entry for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film—a period drama about the Algerian independence movement directed by Rachid Bouchareb, whose 2006 film Indigènes was also Oscar-nominated.
The festival opens tonight at both the Academy and the Victoria cinemas with L’âge de Raison, a rom-com starring Sophie Marceau and directed by Yann Samuell (Jeux d’enfants).