The French excel at films focused on relationships: the intricacies of emotional and physical connections. Director François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend" resides wholly in that arena with its focused consideration of best friends Claire and David who becomes Virginia. Gradually and sensitively, the film examines sexual desire and gender identity with an unhurried, thought-provoking inquiry.
For years, French films have carved out a niche in presenting very personal stories about the ups and downs of intimate relationships. "Populaire" falls into that category with the added quirk of central character, secretary Rose Pamphyle, training for the 1959 high-speed international typing competition. The romance with her boss Louis Échard is as thoroughly old-fashioned as the manual typewriters.
Director/co-writer Eric Lartigau’s film “The Big Picture” poses a knotted series of problems regarding identity, anonymity and fame. More a theoretical interrogation than a richly delivered story, the plot begins with self-satisfied Parisian lawyer Paul Exben slow to realize his wife Sarah has enjoyed an affair with long-time friend Grégoire and now wants a divorce.