The romantic WWII drama based on Irène Némirovsky’s novel is interestingly brought to the screen by Saul Dibb and glamorized by its international cast, that includes Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lambert Wilson & Margot Robbie.
The film’s premise is in the early years of a Nazi-occupied France, where Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams) awaits for news of her husband, along with her domineering mother-in-law (Kristin Scott Thomas). When a regiment of German soldiers arrive in the town of Bussy, they soon move into the villagers’ homes. Romance blooms between Lucile and Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), the German commander who has been posted at her mother-in-law’s home.
Review: Suite Française sounds like an overused plot that one can predict from a mile away but it’s not. The story’s not another version of Romeo and Juliet’s impossible love. It’s subtle, sweet, and smart because it makes you think – just a little bit don’t worry – about morals, values, and ideologies our own and that of the ones we love. The film is about a blooming love story but a complicated one.
Lucile & Bruno’s longing and desire for each other doesn’t get frustrating or outrageously déjà vu, it only adds another flavor, to the many, in the film. It contrasts well with Celine’s (Margot Robbie) lack of restraint on her urges. It begs the question on ideologies and desire, when do they impede each other? No one is just one dimensional in this film, you see the good, the bad, and questionable in every one. Ambivalence is the key word in this film, conflicting emotions and ideologies is in the center of this story.
The storytelling is just amazing, layered with subtlety and beauty, it carries you through every step of the way like musical notes played on the piano. The ensemble cast is great, all of the characters have some kind of layers to them, each of them memorable in their own way, without ever making the film crowded or hard to follow. Kristin Scott Thomas embodies the devotion her character has, Michelle Williams fits the role perfectly she has this quite strength that Lucile needs, and Matthias Schoenaerts really is the prince in the big bad wolf suit or vice versa.
Suite Française is a captivating and poignant story that has an equally emotive roots, the film surprised me so let me know what you think of it?