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Directed by Bruno Dumont • 2021 • France, Italy
Starring Léa Seydoux, Blanche Gardin, Benjamin Biolay
Léa Seydoux brilliantly holds the center of Bruno Dumont’s unexpected, unsettling film, which starts out as a satire of the contemporary news media before steadily spiraling out into something richer and darker. Never one to shy away from provoking his viewers, Dumont casts Seydoux as France de Meurs, a seemingly unflappable superstar TV journalist whose career, homelife, and psychological stability are shaken after she carelessly drives into a young delivery man on a busy Paris street. This accident triggers a series of self-reckonings, as well as a strange romance that proves impossible to shake. A film that teases at redemption while refusing to grant absolution, FRANCE is tragicomic and deliciously ambivalent—a very twenty-first-century treatment of the difficulty of maintaining identity in a corrosive culture.