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Souvenir (2016)

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A forgotten European Song Contest singer, fading away in a pâté factory, falls in love with a young aspiring boxer. Together they decide to attempt her comeback.

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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Luc Bondy's final feature film as director draws talent from both stage and screen to bring Pierre de Marivaux's 1737 play into 21st century Paris. Isabelle Huppert commands the screen as ... See full summary »

Directors: Luc Bondy, Marie-Louise Bischofberger
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Louis Garrel, Bulle Ogier
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Liliane Cheverny, dite Laura
... Jean Leloup
... Tony Jones
Muriel Bersy ... Wendy
Fanny Blanchard ... La jeune ouvrière
Benjamin Boutboul ... Kenneth
Anne Brionne ... Martine Leloup
Thomas Coumans ... Zoltan
Christine d'Argenton ... Solange, l'ouvrière fan (as Christine Dargenton)
Joël Delsaut ... Le chef
Thorunn Egilsdóttir ... La présentatrice
Carlo Ferrante ... Rudi Riva
Jan Hammenecker ... Eddy Leloup
... L'ambulancier
Alice D'Hauwe ... Liliane jeune
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Storyline

Because of the stupid life in a pâté-factory, former singer Laura falls in love with a colleague, a much younger boy and boxer, and after a small performance, a reenactment of her singing character, she tries to reenter the national song contest. Written by imperiumclassicum

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Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

21 December 2016 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Volver a empezar  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,267, 4 March 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,411, 3 May 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the beginning, Liliane's monotonous, dull everyday life is shown. As a habit she reads a novel written by Marilyn French in the bus. In a following sequence, Jean and Liliane talk about ABBA. This is might be a reference to the ABBA song "The day before you came" about a woman telling the mundane details of her everyday-life of which reading Marilyn French is a part - until she meets - possibly - the love of her life. See more »

Goofs

While sharing a bath with her Beaux, Isabelle Huppert's character is seen wearing a bra Dissapointing for him... See more »

Soundtracks

Souvenir
Lyrics by Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken
Performed by Isabelle Huppert
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User Reviews

 
An approachable performance from Huppert
30 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

'Souvenir' is the name of the song that propelled French singer Liliane to second place behind Abba in the 'European Song Contest' ("Those Swedes cheated for sure"). (Trivia fact: In real life, when Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, 1974, France did not enter. The actual runner-up was Italy's former winner Gigliola Cinquetti with the evocative 'Sì' ('Yes'), which Italian television refused to broadcast live in case it was seen as trying to influence the following month's divorce referendum.) Like so many Eurovision - sorry, Euro*pean* Song Contest entrants, Liliane's career failed to blossom and decades later she is holding down a dull job in a pâté factory. She finds herself attracted (despite his awful yellow moustache) to wannabe boxer Jean, 22 and still living with his parents. As their relationship develops, Jean coaxes Liliane into relaunching her career. Can she once again represent France on the international stage?

As Liliane, Isabelle Huppert does not have a marvellous singing voice and is rather stiff in executing the stage performances that were, apparently, choreographed for her. But she leaves behind the usual ice maiden, wafting-through-scenes-as-if-she-is-not-really-in-them shtick used in so many of her other films to make Liliane a sympathetic character who is hesitant to set herself up for another failure but sorely tempted by the lure of the stage. Kévin Azaïs, as Jean, is not stretched by the script but is perfectly competent.

"I wanted to make a movie for Sunday afternoons" said director Bavo Defurne when he introduced the film at the 2016 London Film Festival. The amount of shagging - albeit without nudity - it contains means 'Souvenir' is unlikely to turn up in BBC2's Sunday PM schedules, and I fear the cheesy song with which Liliane once more attempts Eurovision glory is likely to end up on the right-hand side of the scoreboard - whoever wrote it obviously has not watched the Contest since the 1970s! But this feel-good film, with its central characters for whom the viewer really does want the best, is itself a sweet-natured winner.


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