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Bed and Breakfast

Director: Claude Duty

FRANCE| 2003. ENGLISH SUBTITLES. COLOUR. ANAMORPHIC. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 105 MINUTES.


A Parisian couple find rural life is not as stress-free as it’s cracked up to be in Bed and Breakfast, which dares to suggest that sunny Provence is not necessarily so soothing or idyllic and that people take their personalities with them no matter where they go. High-strung Caroline (Marina Fois) and boyfriend Bertrand (Philippe Harel) bid Paris goodbye to run a rustic five-room establishment for hikers. The hippy-dippy decor is the first thing to go as Caroline starts relentlessly micro-managing, while sturdy employee Angelique (Annie Gregorio, effortlessly funny) cooks, cleans and shows the new owners the ropes.
Bertrand takes to the region despite assorted setbacks, but Caroline is a fish-out-of-water whose gills are perpetually about to burst. When the village elects to celebrate its 1,000th anniversary with a medieval fair, Caroline takes on the organising with a vengeance, doing everything from recruiting lepers to forcing local women to cook without modern appliances. The task quickly becomes more demanding than the job she left behind.
Director Claude Duty -who made more than 20 shorts before graduating at age 54 to his first feature, the sardonic musical Filles perdues, cheveux gras (Hypnotised and Hysterical)-has in the space of two films formed a director-actor symbiosis for the ages with comedienne Fo•s. Harel, an experienced director in his own right, is a bemused cypher as Bertrand. Bulle Ogier is a hoot as the mayoress who despairs of ever passing on her olive oil business to her sepulchral, body-piercing niece.

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