From Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y., The Young Victoria) comes Café du Flor, a challenging and emotionally raw look at love.
Watch the trailer for Café de Flore below.
Told in two parallel stories, Flor first takes us to contemporary Montreal where hotshot musician DJ Antoine (Kevin Parent) and his ex-wife Carole (Hélène Florent), the mother of his two daughters, are clearly not over their breakup, which happened two years prior. Antoine is involved in an intense relationship with Rose (Évelyne Brochu), but he’s racked by guilt about the breakup. Yet his angst does not compare to Carole’s, who is tortured by the dueling forces of insomnia and strange nightmares, unable to come to terms with the reality that Antoine, whom she believed was her soulmate, is no longer sharing her bed, or her life.
The other narrative of Café de Flore unravels in 1969 Paris as we’ve hardly seen it: a decidedly unglamorous city. Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis) is a single mother raising Laurent (Marin Gerrier), her Down’s syndrome afflicted son. Jacqueline’s single-minded determination to protect him from the world borders on obsession.
The two story lines eventually link up, possibly causing some viewers to lose their patience with the twisting, turning plots.
As usual, Vallée garners stunning performances from his cast. Paradis plays against type and dives headfirst into the surprisingly ferocious mother-on-a-mission role. Rose (Brochu) is the woman who’s stuck in the middle of the psycho-drama that is Antoine (Parent) and Carole’s (Florent) tumultuous relationship. But the stunner seems to be Parent. A singer-songwriter in real life, this is his first film, which he has pulled off with sublime skill. He embraces rock star confidence and sex appeal while hinting at tenderness.
With a soundtrack that weaves together Sigur Rós, Pink Floyd, The Cure, and the jazz-inspired song by British DJ Matthew Herbert that inspired the title, Café de Flore is a film not to be missed.
Catch Café de Flore at PIFF35. Playing Saturday February 11th at 5:30 PM (Lake Twin Cinema), Monday February 13th at 6 PM (Lloyd Mall 5), and Monday February 20th at 7:30 PM (Cinema 21).