The Unknown Girl

One evening, after closing her practice for the day, Jenny, a young doctor, hears the doorbell ring but doesn’t answer it. The next day, the police inform her that an unidentified young woman has been found dead close by. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

Potiche

Ozon’s new one is an adaptation of a French play set in a bourgeois province in 1977 and starring a veritable who’s who of the country’s best thesps, including Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Ludivine Sagnier, Cecile De France, and Jeremie Renier.

The Kid With a Bike

Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children’s home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn’t recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage. [Synopsis courtesy of the Cannes Film Festival]

The Vintner’s Luck

The nineteenth century has barely dawned in France when we meet Sobran Jodeau (Jérémie Renier, best known for his work with Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne). Sobran is a young peasant who hungers for two things in life: to win the hand of the beautiful Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and to create wine in his own vineyard. While marriage to the fiery Celeste soon follows, his wine-making ambition is considered above his station, and the patron he serves fails to put his innate skills to use. One night, however, he encounters the angel Xas (Gaspard Ulliel), who sees Sobran’s passions as evidence of his profound humanity. Xas proposes that Sobran plant some vines the angel carries, and further, that they meet each year at the same time and place.

Unsettled and yet self-interested, Sobran agrees without being able to answer his own questions about who or what Xas actually is. The vines, however, are very real, and they grow and thrive. Soon Sobran encounters the next influence in his life, the proud, educated and vulnerable Baroness Aurora de Valday (Vera Farmiga). Before long, he is as deeply entangled in Aurora’s emotional complexities as he is in her vineyard, leading to both spiritual and corporeal crises for everyone. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Demain dès l’aube (Tomorrow at Dawn)

Mathieu, a piano virtuoso, goes home to help his brother Paul to take care of their sick mother. Paul is into reenacting old battles, dressing up and getting into character, even dueling if necessary. Mathieu gets involved in this world and play becomes real.

Lorna’s Silence

Lorna, (Arta Dobroshi), a young Albanian woman living in Belgium, has her sights set on opening a snack bar with her boyfriend, Sokol (Alban Ukaj). In order to do so, she becomes an accomplice in a diabolical plan devised by mobster Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione). Fabio has set up a false marriage between Lorna and Claudy (Jérémie Renier) allowing Lorna to get her Belgian citizenship. However, she is then asked to marry a Russian mafioso who’s ready to pay hard cash to also get his hands on those vital Belgian identity papers. Fabio intends to kill Claudy in order to speed up the second marriage. But will Lorna remain silent? [Synopsis courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics]

Summer Hours

The divergent paths of three forty-something siblings collide when their mother, heiress to her uncle’s exceptional 19th century art collection, dies suddenly. Left to come to terms with themselves and their differences, Adrienne (Juliette Binoche), a successful New York designer, Frederic (Charles Berling), an economist and university professor in Paris, and Jeremie (Jeremie Renier), a dynamic businessman in China, confront the end of childhood, their shared memories, background and unique vision of the future.

White Elephant

In the vast, poverty-stricken and highly dangerous Buenos Aires slum that is the Villa Virgen, two men – bothfriends, both Catholic priests, both deeply respected by the local community for their tireless endeavours on behalf of the poor and the dispossessed – take very different paths in their struggle against violence, corruption and injustice.

Julian uses his political connections to oversee the construction of a hospital. Nicolas has joined Julian following the failure of a project in the jungle, after paramilitary forces assassinated members of the local community. Deeply troubled, he is facing a profound crisis of faith – faith in himself, faith in the ability of the Catholic Church to protect the interests of the poor, faith in God.

Between them is Luciana, an attractive atheist social worker who works alongside Julian but begins to grow closer to Nicolas, exacerbating doubts about his vocation.

Ravaged by constant struggle, torn apart by the conflicting interests of rival drug cartels, venal political ambitions, rampant police corruption and the basic needs of the people, the Villa is a place of ever-growing tensions. When work on the hospital is stopped by ministerial order, things reach boiling point and a riot erupts.

For Julian and Nicolas, the moment of reckoning – the final test of friendship and faith – arrives in a chapel where they find themselves protecting a neighbourhood youth on the run from murderous cops… [Synopsis courtesy of Wild Bunch]

Elefante Blanco

Gerónimo is a 45 year old man devastated by a tragic event. His friend Julian tries out afloat by encouraging him to participate in the project of a marginal town near Buenos Aires. Both are Catholic priests who decided to dedicate their life to the poorest: Geronimo in the Third World and Julian in Argentina. While working in Villa Virgen, Geronimo begins to wonder if the Church is the right institution to protect the weak. Julian, meanwhile, decides that the best way to change the lives of the needy people is politics. The counterpoint is Luciana, an atheist lawyer who has a different perspective on social reforms.

Neither Heaven Nor Earth

Afghanistan 2014. As the withdrawal of troops approaches, Captain Antarès Bonassieu and his squad have been assigned a surveillance mission in a remote valley of Wakhan, on the border of Pakistan. Despite Antarès and his men’s determination, control of the secluded valley will slowly fall out of their hands. One dark night, soldiers begin to mysteriously disappear in the valley.

The Great Man

Recuperating in Paris after being wounded in Afghanistan, a French Foreign Legion soldier is reunited with the man who saved his life and unexpectedly finds himself able to repay his debt when he is compelled to take care of the man’s young son. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]

Waste Land (2014)

A Brussels homicide cop (Jérémie Renier) begins to lose control of his life as he tries to solve a bizarre murder.