Camille Fauque (Audrey Tautou) is a softly spoken, gentle, artistic young woman who lives a simple life in Paris. Her passion is drawing, which she supports through her work as an evening office cleaner. She lives alone in the attic apartment of a grand Parisien house. Another tenant, Philibert (Laurent Stocker), is a history”nut” who occupies a huge apartment. He is an aristocrat and a gallant, but he is young and of nervous disposition and he would rattle in the grand home (inherited from his family), were it not for the presence of his lodger, Franck (Guillaume Canet). A total opposite to Philibert, Franck is an ambitious and talented young cook, but a brash, confident man with an eye for the ladies. Camille and Philibert strike up an awkward friendship. One day, far more focussed on her art than her health, Camille falls ill and Philibert takes her into his home to care for her. Too weak to refuse, Camille recovers there with Philibert and Franck – but she and Franck don’t see eye-to-eye which disrupts the dynamics of the household. But something stronger keeps these three together. The only tenderness in Franck’s life is his care for his grandmother Paulette (Francoise Bertin) – but she is ailing and soon needs his help. Through this, Franck, Camille and Philibert discover although there are tough challenges in life, there are joys too.
This is an interesting and compelling movie. Each character has their own unique, fascinating qualities and they are all so different. Together, their triangulated and difficult relationship just works somehow. Make no mistake, these three are all single-minded, determined and hard-nosed people – they are accustomed to managing their own lives and being in control. Their relationships are intermittently happy and desolate – which just brings sharper sense of reality to this movie. As usual, Audrey Tautou is a gentle soul but she has a good, hard edge to her here. Franck is an arrogant man and this is done very well – a good performance by Guillaume Canet. In 2007, he was awarded “Best Actor” at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival and the NRJ Ciné Awards, both well deserved recognitions. Laurent Stocker rounds out the three beautifully with his portrayal of the eccentric Philibert – and he was awarded “Most Promising Actor” at the Cesar Awards in 2008 – again, well deserved. As Paulette, Francoise Bertin brings the gentleness back to this movie several times, but she’s no pushover, so this is a great balance to the three young people. Overall, Claude Berri has done a great job with this. The atomosphere is realistic, Parisien and exactly what you’d expect from day to day life there. This movie is a dramatization of the novel by Anna Gavalda. It’s good – well done.
Made in 2007. Directed by Claude Berri.