Review: Populaire - Alliance Francaise French Film Festival


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Posted By Sharmonie Cockayne @ Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:24 AM

Review: Populaire - Alliance Francaise French Film Festival

Words: Emma Doherty
It is 1958 and ‘modern’ Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François), decides to leave behind her humdrum life as shopkeeper at her father's store in a tiny village in Normandy for the big smoke- a slightly larger village in Normandy.

Rose takes a job as a secretary for the rakishly handsome businessman, Louis Échard (Romain Duris), or as I like to call him, French Don Draper. Rose is a fairly atrocious secretary, so it soon becomes apparent that Louis had an ulterior motive for hiring her- he wanted to use Rose’s extraordinary dexterity at typewriting to train her for the annual Normandy Speed-Typewriting Championships. François’ talented, though utterly klutzy Rose is charming, and the hilarious banter between Rose and Louis (read: seething romantic tension) is a delight to watch.

Pretentious filmgoers will revel in the references to 1950s Hollywood cinema, which imbue the film with nostalgic familiarity- though the references are never overt enough as to detract from the film’s own unique charms. Visually, Populaire is a treat, and the 1950s setting makes for pure and unadulterated vintage-porn.

This is a lovely confection of a film and, provided your partner is literate and can read subtitles, an excellent movie for a date.

Tags: Reviews , Alliance Francaise French Film Festival , Film