Saturday, 14 March 2015

Suite Française

Every " WW2 Occupied France" movie should have at least one sequence where a long Line of local refugees are strafed by the evil Luftwaffe as they stagger through the French Countryside with their belongings pilled up in handcarts and prams.
It's an iconic and much copied scene.
" Suite Francaise" begins with such a sequence where the fierce Madame Angelier ( Kristen Scott Thomas) and her daughter in law Lucile ( Michellle Williams) who are in the middle of collecting rent from their tenant farmers get caught up in  bombing of Parisian refugees and at first the film looked promising as the camera swoops and follows the terrified French peasants as they flee into the golden wheat on the sides of the road.
But then we left the action and entered the somewhat hackneyed story of Lucile's love affair with nice Nazi Bruno ( Matthias Schoenaerts) as the German occupy the small town of Bussy. Old scores are settled as some of the occupied French tittle-tattle on each other in a bid to survive and Lucile has to finally choose which side she is ultimately on as resistance looms it's head as the German's take charge.
Williams looks like an angel and is ok, if not a little bland as Lucile. Schoenaerts is more impressive as the torn and cultured Bruno, but the whole film is stolen by Scott Thomas who with her icy stare and powdered white face, is more frightening than any Wartime Hun psychopath , in her role of a cynical and embittered mother, widow and patriot.
She can fight my corner anytime!



  1. I love Kristin Scott Thomas and will probably see this just because she is in it. I quit enjoying the war movies .. but might make an exception for her. It is sure a good day for a movie .. we are getting fog and rain which is washing away the snow which is making the fog which is still cold and dreary. I am going ahead with plans to move to Florida.

  2. I recently visited Ford Island in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. I visited the Pacific Aviation Museum. Still visible is bullet holes in the hangars from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Many people were strafed on this Island during the Pearl Harbour attack.

  3. Still love her in 'The Horse Whisperer' - there seemed to be real chemistry there with Redford - well, why wouldn't there be! I have the book 'Suite Francaise'. I can't take anymore death and destruction after trawling through 'Comic Relief' last night.

  4. As the writer (Matt Charman) is my new BFF, I have to say its the best film ever. Although I've not seen it as yet. Anyway, Kristin is on my List of Five

  5. I'm due to see this on Wed but have no enthusiasm at all to do so because, frankly, I've more than had my fill of wartime films (most especially WWII) such that I don't care if I never see another one in my entire life. However, this HAS had some very good reviews, though overall they've been variable. But the presence of the ever watchable K.S.T. will be a strong coax, enhanced even moreso by your endorsement of the film. So here I come - albeit with heavy sigh!

  6. I liked KST in Gosford Park.

  7. It didn't really bear much relation to the book but I actually quite enjoyed it - much more than I thought I would.


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