Sophie Marceau as Clélia

Fidelity (La Fidélité in the original French) is the story of a beautiful young photographer who falls madly for a decent guy, a publisher of children’s books, marries him, then falls madly for another guy, a street-punk photographer. It might also be, in code, the story of its star and her relationship with its writer/director Andrzej Zulawski. Sophie Marceau plays the sequentially amorous Clélia, a strong woman in control of her own life who turns the head of every man she encounters. At the time Fidelity was made, Marceau was in a long-term relationship with Zulawski. They had a son together. Shortly after finishing this film, the two of them split up and … Read more

Female Agents

The female agents on the way to an airplane

Jean-Paul Salomé, director and co-writer of Female Agents (Les Femmes de l’Ombre in the original French), got the idea for his 2008 film from an obituary. While in London in 2004 he read about Lise Villameur, who’d just died aged 98. During the Second World War she’d been an agent for the French Section of Britain’s Special Operations Executive. Parachuted into France to set up her own cell and run her own agents, Villameur was described by the folk at SOE training school as “quite imperturbable… would remain cool and collected in any situation . . . she was very much ahead of her fellow students”. That’s exactly how Sophie Marceau plays Louise … Read more

Everything Went Fine aka Tout S’est Bien Passé

Emmanuèle and father André

A film about a daughter helping her father to kill himself doesn’t sound like appointment viewing – unless you work at Dignitas (or some other physician-assisted-suicide organisation) – but in the hands of director François Ozon it is just that. There’s an “all human life is here” aspect to Everything Went Fine (Tout S’est Bien Passé originally) – it’s compassionate, dignified, funny at times, poignant and also triumphant. In a thumbnail, the film focuses on the relationship between a daughter (Sophie Marceau) and her father (André Dussollier) after he, in his mid 80s, has a stroke. He recovers a bit but he’s a shadow of his former self, paralysed down one side, mouth … Read more