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Letters from Greece


Stars: Laure Calamy, Olivia Cote, Kristin Scott Thomas

Director: Marc Fitoussi

This is a film I wanted to like more than I did. But its annoying characters make by and large poor company in a sun-filled comedy-drama that never really catches fire. I'm a great admirer of both Calamy (so good in Full Time) and Scott Thomas, but their characters here remain at a distance, as well as becoming vaguely irritating.

And I'm surprised that the award-winning Calamy should have submitted to such a gratuitous nude scene.

Cote, who is less familiar to me, actually has the most difficult role, as tha plain-Jane, fortysomething radiologist Blandine, who has still not recovered from being dumped by his long-term husband two years ago. Their son arranges a meeting with her one-time school bestie, the diminutive, fizzy, free-living Magalie (Calamy), who greets Blandine with 'Your cheeks are gaunt. You have bags under your eyes. It happens to us all.' It has not, of course, happened to Magalie, and the two women part on frosty terms.

Nonetheless, when said son ducks out of their projected trip to Greece and the fondly-remembered Amorgos, he substitutes Magalie in his place. Things don't go well, and Magalie's purse-pinching purchase of tickets for one stop results in them being put off there. After a couple of days in the middle of nowhere, they set off again for Amorgos, the site of their favourite film, The Big Blue, only to go to sleep on the ferry and pass it by (both of these things, it must be added, stretch credulity to the limit).

The final reconciliation back in France is as predictable as it is inevitable, but the scenery is, of course, gorgeous.

David Quinlan

France 2022. UK Distributor: Parkland Entertainment. Colour (unspecified).
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 17 May 2024