Quand J’etais Chanteur

Director: Xavier Giannoli

France. 2006. 112mins

Fiftysomething Alain Moreau (Depardieu) is a local celebrity in Clermont-Ferrand, where he sings sentimental favourites in a dance hall till 3:30am. A pro who never misses his marks—but in the twilight of his career—Alain spots a beautiful young blonde, Marion (de France), in the audience one night. Marion is an intern at a realtor company run by Alain’s friend, Bruno (Mathieu Amalric), and is unimpressed at first by the chanteur when he parlays a meeting the next day. Eventually Alain’s quiet persistence and frank, self-deprecating attitude finally tempt her to a night between the sheets—but she makes a clandestine exit next morning before the old boy wakes. But the expected cliches in this story never surface: Alain is neither a selfpitying alcoholic nor a grandstanding smoothie, and Marion neither an easy pushover nor a traumatized youngster. Giannoli’s script paints a beautifully nuanced portrait of two people reaching out for something neither fully comprehends.

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