Vincent Machot (Kyan Khojandi) lives for his hairdressing salon, his cousin, his cat, and his too invasive mother (Anémone). But when he meets up with Rosalie Blum (Noémie Lvovsky), a mysterious and lonely woman, he is convinced he has already met her. But where? Intrigued, he decides to follow her everywhere, leading him on an adventure full of surprises and fantastic characters. One thing is certain: Vincent Machot's life will change.
Review by Louise Keller:
Delicately blending drama and romance with a comic touch, Rosalie Blum is a beguiling jigsaw puzzle in which lives intersect, connections are made and secrets revealed. It's a stunning directing debut by screenwriter Julien Rappeneau, who has adapted Camille Jourdy's graphic novels with great perception and empathy. The screenplay is structured in three parts and told from three different perspectives, although the key elements are divulged in the first. Endearing, surprising and affecting, this is a rich story in which details matters as we are enticed into the reality of three very different characters.
In the first half hour, we enter the world Vincent (Kyan Khojandi), an unadventurous prematurely balding hairdresser who lives alone with his cat, panders to his demanding elderly mother and is trying to sort out his relationship with his absent girlfriend. His life seems relatively simple until.... the day he meets Rosalie Blum (Noemie Lvovsky). There is something about her.... Like Vincent, we become intrigued and fascinated as he follows Rosalie - to the markets, the movies, choir practice and a smoky club with live music. The song is Belle and Sebastian's 'Get me away from here; I'm dying'. Things become more and more bizarre.....
Then we meet Aude (Alice Isaaz), a pretty school drop out with artistic talents, who lives with an eccentric street performer and his animals. She has no appetite for life until ... she receives a phone call from Rosalie Blum. In the third and final segment, when Rosalie is central to the action, all the pieces of the puzzle start to fit. What happens; the details; the way things dovetail and the revelations about which we learn are all elements best discovered first hand.
Lvovsky (Camille Rewinds, 2012) is instantly charismatic in the central role; Rosalie is a plain woman with a secret. There's a lovely contrast between Rosalie and Vincent, who lives his life apologetically and beholden to his mother Simone (Anémone). Her eccentric nature - along with Aude's kooky friends (Sara Giraudeau, Camille Rutherford) and flatmate (Philippe Rebbot) form a colourful platform on which the main action plays out. There's a goat and a dog that looks like a lion... Watch out for the hilarious scene in which Aude and her friends break into Simone's apartment - to see whether or not she really exists. The film's most moving scene has no dialogue whatsoever; the emotions are enhanced by a melodic musical sequence.
As the different story strands come together and make sense of the questions that have been raised throughout, our hearts soar: like the colourful kite that symbolically flies away. Meet Rosalie Blum - you will be glad you did.
Rappeneau follows in the footsteps of his father writer director Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Cyrano de Bergerac).
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ROSALIE BLUM (M)
CAST: Noémie Lvovsky, Kyan Khojandi, Alice Isaaz, Anémone, Philippe Rebbot, Sara Giraudeau, Camille Rutherford, Nicolas Bridet
PRODUCER: Michael Gentile, Chalres Gillibert
DIRECTOR: Julien Rappeneau
SCRIPT: Julien Rappeneau (graphic novels by Camille Jourdy)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Pierre Cottereau
EDITOR: Stan Collet
MUSIC: Martin Rappeneau
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Marie Cheminal
RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 2016