Director: Valérie Donzelli

100 minutes • France • 2011

France’s official submission for next year’s Oscars, Declaration of War, which opened the Critics’ Week section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is a dramatic comedy about the stress placed on a couple when their two-year old son is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. While this may seem an odd topic for a light-hearted film, it is in fact based on the real-life experience of its writers and lead actors Valérie Donzelli and Jérémie Elkaïm. The beginning of the film reveals its happy ending, leaving it free to focus more on the parents’ relationship than the medical issues. In doing so, it becomes a celebration of the love between the two that enables them to endure, with humour, a situation that is surely every parent’s worst fear.<

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