The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has revealed its third annual Wave Film Festival, running July 15 through July 19. This festival highlights eleven brand new French films at the historic Riviera Theatre.
Herewith the lineup, with language courtesy of the festival.
“A PERFECT MAN” / (Director: Yann Gozlan, Screenwriters: Yann Gozlan, Guillaume Lemans, Grégoire Vigneron) – Mathieu Vasseur is an aspiring writer. But as the refusal letters pile up, he takes a part-time job as a mover. Going through the contents of a recently deceased old soldier’s home, Mathieu discovers a dusty, hand-written diary. Intrigued, he takes the manuscript home to read. And he can’t put it down! Indeed the soldier’s story is captivating. Mathieu submits the book as its own to a publishing house. And he gets his first publishing deal. And the book is a huge success. Mathieu finally seems to have it all. But he will soon realize that his lie comes with a price. Cast: Pierre Niney, Ana Girardot, Valeria Cavalli, Marc Barbé.
“CAPRICE” / (Director/Screenwriter: Emmanuel Mouret) – Effortlessly shifting from moments of tenderness to burlesque, this wily romantic comedy poses the question, is love merely a form of mutual self-deception? The idiosyncratic Emmanuel Mouret plays Clément, a humble high school teacher quite at home in a classroom, but uncertain and awkward in matters of romance. Luck is on his side when it comes to the woman he has long loved and admired, Alicia, a sublime and revered actress, played by Virginia Efira. Alicia believes that the love of her life is destined to be a modest man from outside the world of entertainment and celebrity – and Clément fits that bill perfectly. Lightning strikes twice, however, when Caprice, a vivacious but penniless unknown played by Anaïs Desmoustier, gets it into her head that destiny also has a plan for her and Clément. Seeing Caprice as a threat to his newfound happiness, Clément rebuffs her, but the rebellious minx is not above a little treachery to get what she wants. Cast: Anaïs Desmoustier, Virginie Efira, Emmanuel Mouret, Laurent Stocker.
“HIPPOCRATES: DIARY OF A FRENCH DOCTOR” / (Director: Thomas Lilti, Screenwriters: Pierre Chosson, Baya Kasmi, Julien Lilti, Thomas Lilti) – Closing night of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week, Hippocrates, Diary of a French Doctor is a darkly comic portrait of a Paris hospital as seen through the eyes of a young intern, Benjamin, played by Vincent Lacoste (Eden), who begins his internship at the hospital ward run by his father. Confident and determined that he will quickly become a successful doctor, Vincent soon realizes that the reality of the medical world is a lot grimmer than what he had imagined. He is also overshadowed by his co-junior partner Abdel, a foreign doctor, played by Reda Kateb (Lost River, Zero Dark Thirty) who’s obviously more competent than he is but who’s forced to work as an intern because of his immigrant status. When Vincent makes a medical error, his father quickly covers it up but Abdel is not fooled…
Cast: Vincent Lacoste, Reda Kateb, Jacques Gamblin, Marianne Denicourt, Félix Moati.
“NOBODY FROM NOWHERE” / (Director: Matthieu Delaporte, Screenwriters: Matthieu Delaporte, Alexandre de La Patellière) – Sébastien Nicolas leads a dull existence and has always dreamed of being someone else but he’s never had any imagination, so he copies. He rents apartments out to tenants in Paris by day, and then, takes on their identities, deploying incredible patience and mechanical skill. Through a painstaking process translating his eye for detail into homemade latex masks, which he enhances with wigs and make-up, he convincingly impersonates his clients. Continuously passing through their lives it becomes evident that some journeys have no way back. Cast: Mathieu Kassovitz, Marie-Josée Croze.
“NUMBER ONE FAN” / (Director/Screenwriter: Jeanne Herry) -In first-time director Judith Herry’s tragi-comedy Number One Fan, Sandrine Kiberlain (Life of Riley, Mademoiselle Chambon) stars as Muriel, a beautician who, for the past two decades, has been French crooner Vincent Lacroix’s (Laurent Lafitte: Bright Days Ahead) number one fan. She spends most of her free time keeping up with his new songs and his shows. Then one night, she opens her door to find Vincent – her idol – standing on her doorstep. His arrival turns Muriel’s life upside down as she embarks on a journey that even she could not have invented. Cast: Sandrine Kiberlain, Laurent Lafitte, Pascal Demolon, Olivier Cote.
“MARSEILLE” / (Director/Screenwriter: Olivier Panchot) – Alex, son of the Marseille mafia boss, joined the Foreign Legion to run away from a rival gang years ago. Now, Alex deserts and returs to his hometown decided to settle down with his ex-girlfriend.His arrival sets a complex series of events in motion. Stranded in a ruthless city plagued by organized crime, Alex must escape both police and his enemies… Cast: Jalil Lespert, Tcheky Karyo, Hiam Abbass Mhamed Arezki, Sabrina Ouazani.
“ONCE IN A LIFETIME” / (Director: Marie-Castille Mention Schaar, Screenwriters: Marie-Castille Mention Schaar, Ahmed Dramé) – Anne Gueguen is more than just a high school history teacher: she actually cares about the troubled, inner-city students she’s supposed to educate. And this year, as always, Anne’s got a tough class. Frustrated by their materialism and lack of ambition, Anne challenges them, despite their unlikelihood of winning, to take part in a national High school Competition around what it meant to be a teen in a Nazi concentration camp… Cast: Ariane Ascaride, Geneviève Mnich, Ahmed Dramé, Stéphane Bak.
“THE CHEF’S WIFE” / (Director/Screenwriter: Anne Le Ny) – Marithé works in a training center and her task is to assist people who are seeking alternative job options. One day, Carole arrives at the center, looking for new professional opportunities. She can no longer stand the pressure of working with her talented Michelin-starred chef husband, Sam (Roschdy Zem), nor does she want to live in his shadow. She has never completed her studies and thus reaches out to Marithé to turn her life around. The two women hit it off immediately, bonding over their desire for change. Both want more out of life in the workplace and in their personal life but both are not sure on how to obtain it. When Marithé meets Sam, she can’t help being attracted to him. Suddenly she has some very personal motives in helping Carole to start over… Cast: Emmanuelle Devos, Karine Viard, Roschdy Zem.
“THE TOURNAMENT” / (Director/Screenwriter: Élodie Namer) – In this coming-of-age drama set in the world of chess, Cal Fournier is competing in the Grand International Chess Open in Budapest. At twenty-two, Cal is an old hand at this – he and his coach Viktor have their methods down to a routine. To compete at this level requires fanatical single-mindedness. Not a problem for Cal, who has always lived in his head. In fact, Cal hardly ever leaves the hotels in which the tournaments are staged, and he has the social skills one might expect from such a cloistered life. Even his clothes are tourist merch from airport boutiques. By day, Cal competes, sometimes playing ten opponents at once. By night, he and his girlfriend Lou (Jappeloup’s Lou de Laâge) join his entourage for gambling in the hotel’s casino. Though it’s a brutal tournament, Cal is expected to win as usual. But his system is about to be put in check by an unorthodox 11 year-old Hungarian boy named Max. To defeat this impudent little prodigy, Cal will be forced to re-evaluate more than his game strategy. Cast: Michelangelo Passaniti, Lou de Laâge, Magne-Håvard Brekke, Adam Corbier.
“40-LOVE” / (Director: Stéphane Demoustier, Screenwriters: Stéphane Demoustier, Gaëlle Macé (collaboration)) – Jérôme, a senior executive, has just left his company. Determined to never work for nobody else ever again, he attempts to set up his own company, come what may, even ignoring the reluctance of his wife Laura. Ugo, their 11-year-old son, is a tennis player and a promising champion. To reach his goal, he must make it into the Roland Garros national training center. Just like his dad, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Together, Ugo and Jérôme will realize that not all rules can be bent in the quest for success. Cast: Olivier Gourmet, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Charles Mérienne.
“NOW OR NEVER” / (Director/Writer: Serge Frydman) – Housewives and mothers usually don’t rob banks, as a rule. Unless there is an economic crisis, your husband has lost his job and the bank is about to foreclose on your home. Unless one evening destiny puts a thief right in your path, and you use him to learn how to go astray, where there is no turning back. Cast: Leïla Bekhti Nicolas Duvauchelle Arthur Dupont.