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Suite francaise

With her husband missing in action during WWII, French villager Lucille (Michelle Williams) has to shelter a German officer (Matthias Schoenaerts) and falls in love with him. An Adaptation of Irène Némirovsky’s bestselling novel.


A loving pair in the black light, he a soldier, she a lovely maiden, and threatening bombers in the background. The poster of SUITE FRANÇAISE could fit well in an RTL or SAT 1 movie event. Love before the horrors of wars, especially the second one, is a topic that always works. If it’s based on real events – even better! Saul Dibb’s film could be slightly true: it is based on Irène Némirovsky’s posthumous bestseller which became a small literary sensation in 2004.
It’s about Lucille (Michelle Williams) who lives in a small French town at her step-mothers (Kristin Scott Thomas). The husband and son is fighting in the war and so Lucille has a lot of time to flirt with German officer Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), who is living in their house during the German occupation. It makes it even easier when the German is revealed to be an esthete who plays melancholic pieces on the piano (the reason for film’s name) and generally doesn’t fit with the image of the barbaric Nazi. This love story in the foreground is a lot less interesting than the subtext of this nicely arranged melodrama made on 35mm film. It’s about the prejudice that Lucille is confronted with: by being so close to the enemy she is seen as a whore by the community, even if she’s secretly hiding a resistance fighter. SUITE FRANÇAISE often uses broad strokes though – especially with Tom Schilling as the young Nazi caricature – the visually stunning romance that the poster promises.

Michael Meyns

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Suite francaise
Kanada/Frankreich/Großbritannien 2014, 108 min
Genre: Drama, War Film, Love Stories
Director: Saul Dibb
Author: Saul Dibb, Matt Charman
DOP: Eduard Grau
Montage: Chris Dickens
Music: Rael Jones
Distributor: Universum Film
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Alexandra Maria Lara, Michelle Williams, Tom Schilling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Eileen Atkins, Matthias Schoenaerts, Clare Holman, Sam Riley, Ruth Wilson, Margot Robbie, Harriet Walter, Deborah Findlay
FSK: 12
Release: 14.01.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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