During the early years of Nazi occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams), a French villager, and Lieutenant Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), a German soldier.
France, 1940. In the first days of occupation, beautiful Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams) is trapped in a stifled existence with her controlling mother-in-law, Madame Angellier (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas), as they both await news of her husband: a prisoner of war. Parisian refugees start to pour into their small town, soon followed by a regiment of German soldiers who take up residence in the villagers' own houses. Lucile initially tries to ignore Lieutenant Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), the handsome and refined German officer staying with them. But soon, a powerful love draws them together and leads them into the tragedy of war.Written by
Was shot in France and Belgium between June and September 2013. See more »
In one of the last scenes where Michelle Williams is driving away, the camera pans out to a landscape shot. The adjacent wheat field clearly shows tracks of a sprayer used to dessicate the wheat - there was no such thing in 1940. See more »
Perhaps the best thing about 'Suite Française' is that the love story is intriguing. This is a rare thing nowadays and brings to mind the great heyday of romance in the Seventies. 'Suite Française' is set in Nazi occupied France during the start of World War II. You will therefore be crying with powerful and furious emotion. Michelle Williams is at the fore front of this film; gladly she does not fail or let the production team down in any respect. She plays a French Villager (I think) called Lucile Angellier. I say this statement with doubt as last time I checked French people did not speak English as their first language. Her overbearing mother is played with severity by Kristin Scott Thomas. She outright leads her daughter's life for her and plays a prominent role in all of her decisions, whether they be little or large. Their village becomes ruled and dictated by German soldiers, some much more brutal than others. There are different personalities and beliefs to each of them. This is great to see, because it paints a broader and larger painting. It shows us that not everyone can be placed definitively into a category.
Lucile is eventually watched over by a lieutenant by the name of Bruno Von Falk. Yes they do fall in love. But it is not as clichéd as I had suspected even if it does fall prone to a few nearly unavoidable clichés. It is the small subtleties that shape their romance. Lucille grows tired of her mother being in charge of her own life and this relationship allows her to become more independent and free minded. This provides the audience with depth, as it is not just a forbidden romance, but a necessary one as well. The lieutenant is acted sufficiently by Matthias Schoenaerts, who proves that he is not just a pretty face off of Hollywood's conveyor belt of seemingly endless blank, bland and boring male actors.
The horrors of war are slightly forgotten about as the film enters its later stages of the romance. But I cannot become too angry at the film, as it is a romance and not a war film. The film maintains good pacing, so that nothing is sudden and unexpected. This is an absolute necessity as we must become invested in the romance as time progresses. This is something that the Director should be proud of. That we maintain a surging like towards the two leads and always care about the characters. For the impatient they may find the whole affair too plodding, as there is only one action set piece located at the start of the film and even that is as brief as they come. But ask yourself, do we really need more action; for this type of film, no, absolutely not. In the last act of it, it becomes a sad if predictable experience, which therefore means that the smallest trace of a tear is kept at bay. The film in its final moments is everything that it promised us it would not be; clichéd and predictable.
Although far too predictable in its final act 'Suite Française' represents one of the more plausible romances in recent memory. The acting is enthusiastic by Michelle Williams and the male lead gets the job done. 'Suite Française' may be too drama heavy, but if the romance is this engaging; then frankly my dear I don't give a damn.
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