Film Review: Suite Francaise (7 out of 10)

Several sheets of paper that laid undiscovered for 60 years have been turned into one woman’s story of life under German occupation during the second world war.

Suite Francaise
Suite Francaise

Irene Nerimovksy’s French novel Suite Francaise, written during the Nazi invasion of France, became a best-selling novel and now is trying its hand as a movie.

And to be honest it’s a fair crack at what has been a tough act to follow.

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Michelle Williams plays Lucile Angellier, living with her mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas) while her husband is away fighting.

However, this is 1940 and the Germans have swept the French resistance aside and a regiment moves into the Angellier’s small town.

Among them is the handsome Bruno von Falk played by Matthias Schoenaerts (in reality he’s Belgian) who moves in with the two ladies.

Lucile and Bruno discover a mutual love of music and eventually of each other but both have to face the reality of war.

The acting is sound enough with Kristin Scott Thomas remarkably believable in her role.

In fact the whole cast is impressive with the likes of Harriet Walter, Eileen Atkins and Margot Robbie who seems to be appearing in most films these days.

The ‘feel’ of a town under occupation is realistic enough and there’s no holding back on the horrors of the conflict.

For me, however, the film just falls a little short of being totally convincing.

But it’s a worthy effort in telling a real-life story of love between two people who meet in impossible circumstances.

Film details: Suite Francaise (15) 107mins

Director: Saul Dibb

Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michelle Williams

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol