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Stars: Vincent Lacoste, Isaure Multrier, Stacy Martin, Marianne Basler, Jonathan Cohen, Ophelia Kolb, Greta Scacchi, Claire Tran

Director: Mikhael Hers

An absolutely charming, (very) French tale of ordinary lives disrupted by unexpected tragedy, liquidly well acted and stunningly shot in Technicolor by Sebastien Buchmann.

Sensitively directed by Hers, the story quickly introduces us to Sandrine (Kolb), teacher, divorcee and busy mum to seven-year-old Amanda (Multrier), and her 24-year-old baby brother David (Lacoste), a tree surgeon, translator and go-between for landlords. He has his eye on Lena (Martin), a piano teacher just arrived in Paris.

These are average people living average lives that are speedily and cleverly sketched in. A picnic party in a park, however, turns into a bloodbath when terrorists with guns shoot down all those present, including Lena, Sandrine's new beau Axel (Cohen) and a friend of David's, who are all wounded. Sandrine, though, is among those killed.

And a grief-stricken David, who was close to his sister, is left, with a little help from Aunt Maud (Basler) to look after Amanda.

Not a lot happens, just everyday lives going on, culminating in David taking Amanda to Wimbledon tennis fortnight on a trip long planned by Sandrine, during which we also meet David's long-unseeen, London-based mother (Scacchi).

The startlingly good-looking Lacoste has David down to the last hesitant 'Oui', while chubby little Multrier wins (and breaks) all hearts in the title role. A slice of life, vividly, touchingly realised.

David Quinlan

France 2018. UK Distributor: Curzon Artificial Eye. Technicolor.
106 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 02 Jan 2020