First, the music. It sets the tone and mood throughout and is the background to the entire story. Pink Floyd features strongly, but also the track from the name of the movie which has a profound meaning as well. You need to have all your wits attuned to fully enjoy and comprehend Cafe de Flore as it moves seamlessly between Paris of the 1960's and Montreal of 2011.
2011 - DJ Antoine's (Kevin Parent) marriage has collapsed and he is living with Rose (Evelyne Brochu). Simultaneously, Jaqueline (Vanessa Paradis) in 1969 Paris, is single handedly raising her down syndrome son Laurent (Marin Gerrier). Antoine's music gradually coalesces into an obsession with the same song, the song that young Laurent is also obsessed with and the story grows into a love story between Antoine's former wife Carole (Helene Florent)and her determination to keep the marriage intact, the compulsive love Antoine has for Rose and the valiant struggle Jaqueline has to bring love and balance into young Laurent's life against all the odds. This is a truly beautiful movie. The theme is love, a mother's love, a wife's love and a lover's love, all driven by a compulsion so strong as it teeters towards destruction.
Evelyne Brochu shimmers as Rose. Helene Florent is compelling and obsessive as Carole and Vanessa Paradis is extrordinary as Jaqueline. All three characters are fabulously drawn and wonderfully acted and of course Marin Gerrier and Alice Dubois are wonderful in their roles as Laurent and Vero. Kevin Parent is terrific as DJ Antoine, but I feel this film belongs to the three women and young Marin Gerrier.
The parallels between 1969 Paris and 2011 Montreal culminate in a poignant and thought provoking twist. Editing is good and cleverly allows the two time-lines to come together beautifully. To say more would give things away too much.
This movie is truly sublime. It will make you think and you will return to it more than once.
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