LA BELLE EPOQUE
U.S. Premiere | France | 2019 | Comedy, Drama | 115 min | In French with English subtitles
Directed by: Nicolas Bedos
Written by: Nicolas Bedos
Cinematography: Nicolas Bolduc
Film Editing: Anny Danché, Florent Vassault
Produced by: François Kraus, Denis Pinault-Valencienne (Les Films du Kiosque), Pathé Films, Orange Studio, France 2 Cinéma.
Cast: Daniel Auteuil (Victor), Guillaume Canet (Antoine), Doria Tillier (Margot), Fanny Ardant (Marianne), Michael Cohen (Maxime), Denis Podalydès (François), Pierre Arditi (Pierre)
International Sales: Pathé Films
Nicolas Bedos’ ingenious, gleeful, thoroughly entertaining second feature is both a clever throwback to the uproarious French farce tradition and an intelligent meditation on our (perhaps more bewildering) age. The time-traveling romantic comedy — in which an inventive theatrical troupe meticulously orchestrates historical reenactments — is infused with wit and devoid of the slightest technological gimmickry. La Belle Époque instead relies on old-fashioned stagecraft, an enthusiastic suspension of disbelief, a couple of old pros at the top of their game (the superb Daniel Auteuil and Fanny Ardant), and the young whippersnappers who are pulling the strings (the bewitching Doria Tillier and Guillaume Canet). Literally taking off like a rocket from scene one, the highly ambitious screenplay delivers on every level and is a beautiful illustration of the various stages of life, the bliss that swells in our hearts as we take that first blind leap into the abyss, and how this crazy thing called love evolves over the course of a lifetime.
Writer-director Nicolas Bedos launched his career at 18, developing and collaborating on scripts for Canal+, and co-writing sketches for his father, renowned stand-up comic Guy Bedos. In 2006, he wrote his first play, Sortie de Scène, which was nominated for a prestigious Molière Award. He went on to become an accomplished playwright, theater director, actor and comedian himself. He has written several TV movies and performed in several films. Bedos made his directorial film debut with Mr. & Mrs. Adelman (COLCOA Audience Award 2017), which he co-wrote and co-starred in with Doria Tillier. That film was nominated for two César Awards — for Best First Feature and Best Actress (for Tillier). La Belle Époque, his second film, premiered out of competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
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