This is not a trivial matter to begin in the adaptation of SUITE FRANÇAISE d‘irène Némirovsky, whose history of writing and publishing is perhaps even more famous than its contents. Pentalogie unfinished, written during the second world war and rediscovered half a century later, revealing in turn the Exodus of 1940, the Occupation and the beginnings of the Resistance, it is here the director, Saul Dibb – already director of THE DUCHESS – who takes care of the setting image of the second volume of this saga acclaimed. An element that it is important to note since it is indeed the romance at the heart of this novel, which is brought to the fore, to the detriment of the rest.
American actors and british – Schoenaerts and Lambert Wilson lost in the midst of all this beautiful world – production, in large part, originated from across the channel, filming in the language of Shakespeare : there is no need to beat around the bush, SUITE FRANÇAISE is going to hurt them on the plates. Rural France fantasized, Germany conquering superficial… But this is not the heart of the problem : despite this immersion difficult, the whole has a budget large – shot by elsewhere in the film – and the reconstitution of the visual is worth the detour. The real false note, it is the writing of this story and its protagonists.
There is a love story, a vague painting of the Occupation in the background, but the characters at the heart of these story arcs are never incarnated : they are hollow, incoherent, or, at the very least written in a hurry. Impossible to understand, and, by extension, to attach. Yet, it is a contradiction with the literary past of this adventure, easy and narrativement very empty.
The some of the performances of the actors rather convincing don’t come to save these different faces also pictures they never seem to go anywhere. This absence of issues evolving is to stagnate the feature-length film that ends fatally by bored.
“A mash bland and not hateful, but full of facilities and of clerical errors, a more distressing one than the other.”
The new production of Saul Dibb is quite watchable but the lack of anything that could give him a semblance of interest : we see only very rarely a vision foreign of France under the occupation, SUITE FRANÇAISE would have been able to provide a fresh point of view, if this is not revisionist, this period is very controversial – taboo ? – history. Finding themselves in the face of a mash bland and not hateful but full of facilities and of clerical errors, a more distressing one than the other is a beautiful disappointment. Nerdy.
AGREE ? NOT AGREE ?
• Achievement : Saul Dibb
• Screenplay : Matt Charman, Saul Dibb, based on Irène Némirovsky
• Main actors : Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas, Matthias Schoenaerts, Sam Riley, Ruth Wilson, Lambert Wilson
• Country of origin : United Kingdom, France, Belgium
• Released : April 1, 2015
• Duration : 1h47min
• Distributor : UGC Distribution
• Synopsis :The Summer Of 1940. France. Waiting for news of her husband a prisoner of war, Lucile Angellier leads a life subject below the eye, inquisitor of his mother-in-law. The arrival of the German army in their village forced the two women to stay at home the lieutenant Bruno von Falk. Lucile tries to avoid it but may soon no longer ignore the attraction she feels for the officer…