Folle embellie (2004)

  |  Adventure, Drama, Romance

Folle embellie (2004) Poster

Set in the summer of 1942 during WWII, the film traces the trajectory of simple people thrown into extraordinary lives, revealing the heart-warming flame of hope and humanity that endures, ... See full summary »


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2 September 2004 | writers_reign
Strange Bedfellows
Given that I was the sole member of the audience at a 6pm screening in a usually well patronised Paris art house it may be fair to speculate that this movie has failed to find its audience. On the other hand it was released at the beginning of July and I saw it on September 2 so maybe it's just running out of steam. The premise - if not the leading characters - is simple: As we establish a provincial town during an air raid and then what the French call an 'asile' a caption sets the time: June, 1940. The road running past the asile is up to its ass with vehicular and pedestrian traffic trying to outrun the Germans so it's not too difficult for Jean-Paul Leaud to open the gate and lead his family and friends to what passes for freedom at that time and place. Sorry, but I for one have a problem with that; it SHOULD be difficult, dammit. These are, after all, fruitcakes, or if you're PC they are being detained for their own and other's safety under the applicable mental health act, yet at no time does anyone attempt to follow them or bring them back. Mental illness, of course, takes many forms and we get a fair sprinkling here from Leaud, who plays everything as if he'd only just seen, fifty years too late, Joseph Wiseman in 'Detective Story', to Miou-Miou (who has no fewer than three new films on release in Paris) who does a beautiful job of passivity. One notable feature is the almost total lack of background music so that for long stretches we hear only natural sound. Ultimately it's a moving film in an unassuming way but animal lovers should beware the scene where Leaud beats a cow to death with a sledghammer. 8/10

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Plot Summary


Adventure | Drama | Romance


Release Date:

7 July 2004


French, German

Country of Origin

France, Belgium, Canada

Filming Locations

Pont-Canal, Briare, Loiret, France

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