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Mademoiselle Chambon (2009)

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Jean, his loving wife and son live a simple, happy life. At his son's homeroom teacher Madamoiselle Chambon's request, he volunteers as substitute teacher and starts to fall for her ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jean-Marc Thibault ...
Le père de Jean
Arthur Le Houérou ...
Jérémy
Bruno Lochet ...
Collègue de Jean 1
Abdellah Moundy ...
Collègue de Jean 2 (as Abdallah Moundy)
Michelle Goddet ...
La directrice de l'école
Anne Houdy ...
La commerciale des pompes funèbres
Geneviève Mnich ...
La mère de Véronique (voice)
Florence Hautier ...
Soeur de Jean 1
Jocelyne Monier ...
Soeur de Jean 2
Jean-François Malet ...
Le beau-frère
Maxence Lavergne ...
Elève classe de Jérémy
Philomène Pagnier ...
Elève classe de Jérémy
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Storyline

Jean, his loving wife and son live a simple, happy life. At his son's homeroom teacher Madamoiselle Chambon's request, he volunteers as substitute teacher and starts to fall for her delicate and elegant charm. His ordinary life between family and work starts to falter. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

28 May 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Une affaire d'amour  »

Box Office

Budget:

€3,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,337 (USA) (4 June 2010)

Gross:

$530,369 (USA) (24 December 2010)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
So much more than merely "Rendez-Vous du concis".
21 November 2012 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

A measure of just how well recent French film Mademoiselle Chambon is constructed lies in a very small, although very subtle, moment between the two leads: one a married man and the other a single woman, which they share in one of the rooms in the home of that of the single woman's. He has voluntarily come round to check what she thinks is a draughty window frame, the gentleman deducing that it is indeed faulty; but as they stand over it and speak, director Stéphane Brizé places the camera in an adjacent room and shoots the interaction via a mid-shot of nothing in particular – we hang back from the specifics the two characters speak of: we know it isn't important, and the long take combining with the static camera as the chemistry the two have shared in other locales up to this point allows us to reach our own conclusions as to the dangerous places this bond is heading.

The film, a romance about characters we sense could really exist and would genuinely both do and say the things that transpire within, is a really rewarding minimalist piece working with the material at its own pace and bringing to life this tale that these two people share in its own way. At no point do we feel cheated, short-changed nor in the hands of any one who is doing any less than their utmost to tell a taut and engaging story about people at crossroads in their lives.

Set in an unspecified French town, the locale essentially doubling up as any town or city anywhere in the world, we cover Vincent Lindon's Jean and his love interest, the titular "Mademoiselle" Véronique Chambon, played by Sandrine Kiberlain. Jean is a builder, a scene on a site upon which he digs up tiled floors and generally demolishes a property so that the new inhabitants may reshape and rearrange it at their pleasure symptomatic with how he, as a man, will come to have his own feelings and emotions dismantled and reconstructed. His domestic set up sees him live with his wife Anne-Marie (Aure Atika) and their infant son Jérémy, their first scene together seeing the three of them attempt to decipher Jérémy's grammar homework and not appear to fully function as a family unit as they struggle to correctly deduce which parts of a certain sentence is the part Jérémy needs to reiterate is of a certain grammatical ilk.

The opening works on two levels, first and foremost as a sequence reiterating that there is room for this family unit of three to disagree and it goes a long way to get across the sense that there is this room for the three of them to fail to read off the same page – later on, things will become more heated as Jean goes through his wringer of emotion. Away from that, the scene additionally acts as a wonderful opener in its designs to wake the audience up; to ask them to perhaps join in with the grammatical problem proposed; to work it out for themselves – to get the mind working during this brief prelude to what is a riveting and intelligent character piece requiring such an attentive attitude. The boy speaks of how his teacher stood at the front of the class and spoke about what needs to be done in order to solve these problems; the sentiment being that his teacher wouldn't have the trouble in solving what everyone else is struggling over. It is this teacher, Kiberlain's aforementioned Véronique, with whom Jean will come to interact before later loving.

Guest lecturing at Jérémy's school in Véronique's class leads on to the visiting of her at home and the said repairing of her window, furthermore leading onto Jean requesting to hear her play the violin she owns. That last instance of Véronique plucking up enough courage to play in front of another human being for the first time in a while encapsulates the superb acting throughout, Brizé's insistence on a static camera shot from medium distances allowing us to fully appreciate just how well Kiberlain does as she sits there and wrestles with the proposal of playing for someone she's known only for about a week. One finds it difficult to recommend the film enough; it is so much more than a film fan's wet dream of static camera angles, extended takes and the French language, a burning and wholly engaging realist drama which ought to take its spot at the top of the tree regarding the best films of recent years.


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