The Aquatic Effect

Samir, a tall, lanky, 40-something crane operator from Montreuil, in the outskirts of Paris, falls head over heels in love with Agathe. He discovers she is a swimming instructor at the local swimming pool, and, for lack of a better plan, he decides to enlist as her student…although he can swim perfectly. But his lie only lasts for 3 lessons, and Agathe hates liars. The truth surfaces. Agathe is furious. The end?
Not quite! Agathe goes to Iceland on a business trip, putting an ocean between her and Samir. But it is without reckoning with his feelings and his stubbornness… [Synopsis courtesy of Directors’ Fortnight]

A Few Days of Respite

After escaping Iran, where their relationship means a death sentence, Hassan and Mohsen make it all the way to France. While stopped over in a small town to await their train to Paris, Mohsen befriends the lonely, but warm, Yolande, who offers him employment, kindness, and the possibility of a peaceful life.

Amor Hakkar directs and stars as the aging man torn between a security he has never known and his passionate connection to his younger lover. A minimalist film that nevertheless feels visually and emotionally full, without forced sentimentality or manufactured drama, A Few Days of Respite questions the nature of love and happiness and the sacrifices we may make to achieve either. In this film directed and written with precision and economy, Hakkar allows us to know these characters in a single line of dialogue, and feel their conflict within the power of a glance. [Synopsis courtesy of the Sundance Institute]

Camille redouble

Noémie Lvovsky’s ebullient twist on the comedy of remarriage transposes Frances Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married to present day France, which means that when the titular Camille—who’s in the throes of divorcing her husband of 25 years—passes out drunk, she wakes up as a high school senior in the mid-1980s (leg warmers, “Walking on Sunshine” on the turntable, and no cell phones in sight.)

A Christmas Tale

The Vuillard’s shared history of physical and mental illness, estrangement, self harm, and loss doesn’t lead itself to the idea of a cheerful holiday season. But can a Christmas time reunion, a scheme concocted by three of the youngest family members, finally bring peace their clan?