The 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival returns with a roster of uplifting flicks
When Palace Cinemas had to close its doors in March due to COVID-19, the 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival was pushed back. Thankfully for French cinema lovers, the renowned festival has returned and is ready to roll the film, resuming its 31st season from Tuesday July 14 to Tuesday August 4 at Palace Barracks and Palace James Street. With a standout selection of 28 features from the original March line-up including Cannes-closing features, heartfelt true stories and hilarious comedies, this feel-good film festival is sure to put a smile on your dial. Go on, grab the popcorn and read on for a sneak peek at this year’s films …
Whether you’re fanatical watcher of foreign films or you just can’t wait to make yourself comfortable in a cinema seat with some snacks and a crisp glass of wine, the much-anticipated return of the 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival on Bastille Day is something to look forward to. The festival will relaunch on Tuesday July 14 with a screening of the whimsical, witty romantic tale La Belle Époque, starring acting great Daniel Auteuil as Victor, a disillusioned man who is given the opportunity to recreate the great love-affair of his youth in the hope that it can restore his future. Plus, every patron that attends the opening-night screening will receive a free gift bag! Another must-see movie is The Extraordinary (Hors normes), a powerhouse piece inspired by the real-life figure of Stéphane Benhamou, who runs an informal shelter in Paris for autistic youth who have fallen through the cracks of a system unable to care for them. As their dedicated carer, Bruno, Vincent Cassel will take your breath away with his extraordinary performance. If you’re after a few laughs (aren’t we all after this hectic year), look no further than the international premiere of the new film from festival favourite Martin Provost How To Be A Good Wife (La bonne épouse), which takes audiences back to 1968 and into the morally upright world of Paulette Van Der Beck (played by one of French cinema’s most-respected actors Juliette Binoche). If you like comedy with a slice of romance, Room 212 from director Christophe Honoré is a magical piece of art. The story follows Maria (Chiara Mastroianni, who won Best Actress at last year’s Cannes Film Festival) as a formidable university professor, whose stale marriage of two decades has seen her seek out affection elsewhere. After their latest fight, Maria checks into a hotel directly across the street from their apartment – room 212. Fun fact – the husband is played by the actress’s own ex, Benjamin Biolay.
Rounding out the rest of the jam-packed roster is Roxane, which tells the tale of a day-dreaming farmer who has a secret passion for the theatre, shared only with his hens. But when his chicken farms face financial ruin, he takes to broadcasting his theatrics via YouTube, with his favourite hen, and star-in-the-making, Roxane. Taking a dramatic turn is Ladj Ly’s critically acclaimed Les Misérables (no singing Anne Hathaway in this one), which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The affecting political flick recalls the 2005 riots, which spread throughout Paris before reaching Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille. Bidding adieu to the 31st Alliance Française French Film Festival is The Bare Necessity (Perdrix), a story that follows a close-knit family entrenched in a comfortable routine, whose lives are turned upside down when a charming stranger forces them to reevaluate everything. Interested in taking a cinematic trip to one of the most exuberant countries in the world? To peep the full list of films included in this year’s showcase head to the Alliance Française French Film Festival website.
The article was created in partnership with our friends at Alliance Française French Film Festival. Palace Cinemas will work alongside Alliance Française French Film Festival to ensure the upmost safety and well-being of patrons, with all participating cinemas adhering to strict social distancing and hygiene standards throughout the festival in line with COVID-19 safety protocols.