Preview: Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2023

Lead Critic; Brooklyn, New York (@floatingartist)

Showcasing the best of contemporary French films, this year's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema features 21 features from old masters to newcomers, including new films by Philippe and Louis Garrel, Arnaud Desplechin, Dominik Moll, Patricia Mazuy and Léa Mysius. Though I feel like I say this every year, about this ultimate festival for Francophiles, but this year's offerings are possibly the strongest in terms of quality and cinematic audacity, in years. Guest attendees include Virginie Efira, Louis Garrel, Christophe Honoré, Alice Winocour, Patricia Mazuy, Melvil Paupoud and more.

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema is presented by Unifrance and Film at Lincoln Center and runs from Thursday, March 2, through Sunday, March 12 @filmlinc

Here are five films I was privileged to sample for the festival. 

Brother and Sister - Desplechin

Arnaud Desplechin, one of the most literary minded film directors of our time, comes with Brother and Sister, a family drama rich with beautifully written characters. It stars Marion Cortillard and Melvin Poupaud as Alice and Louis, estranged siblings who are coming to terms with their differences after a fatal car accident involving their elderly parents.

It starts out with a flashback at the wake of the young son of Louis and Faunia (Golshifteh Faranahi), where Alice and her husband are turned away at the doorstep by an angry Louis. The film goes back and forth, peppered with flashbacks, giving the fraught sibling relationship its necessary context. It turns out that Alice, now a famous stage actress, resented her younger brother's success as a writer. After many years of books by Louis writing about their thinly veiled relationship, they are not on speaking terms.

Things get very awkward while both parents are hospitalized, because the siblings tiptoe around their visits, trying not to cross paths, while their partners, other siblings and friends encourage and discourage their possible encounters. Both Cortillard and Poupaud are marvelous as they act out the beautifully written script by Desplechin. It's the most emotionally resonant Desplechin film in years.

Screen Anarchy logo
Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Click here to report it, or see our DMCA policy.
Film at Lincoln CenterFranceRendezvous with French Cinema

More about The Five Devils

Around the Internet