Today: February 24, 2024
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Angèle Et Tony

It’s too tempting to say there must be something in the French water, but after the enjoyably fantastical delights of Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre comes another Normandy port-set film about an odd couple, here played out by the assertive Angèle and her more introverted love interest Tony.

It’s too tempting to say there must be something in the French
water, but after the enjoyably fantastical delights of Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre comes another
Normandy port-set film about an odd couple, here
played out by the assertive Angèle and her more introverted love interest Tony.

On parole and
separated from her son, Angèle (Clotilde Hesme) strikes up a
relationship with local fisherman Tony (Grégory Gadebois) who offers her a
place to stay and a job working with his mother. At first a little rough and
forward, Angèle slowly comes
to form a tender bond with her new partner leading
to the possibility of a fresh start.

So while Angèle
et Tony
might look like a gritty, naturalistic drama from its opening shot of Angèle screwing
a guy up against a wall in payment for a present for her son, it’s actually
not. As the plot steers itself away from potentially pessimistic threads towards
something a little sweeter it soon becomes apparent why it became such a
sleeper hit in France, sharing as it does some of Bienvenue
chez les Ch’tis’s
warm romantic magic.

As the
troubled Angèle, Hesme manages to bring a forthrightness that hides inner vulnerability while Gadebois plays the lonely Tony with the
right amount of believable gruffness. That director Alix Delaporte manages to
capture the realistic beats of their relationship amidst some beautiful coastal
scenery no doubt owes a debt to his
experience as a journalist and documentary filmmaker, making as it does for a
thoroughly surprising and enjoyable film.

So with some nicely
pitched performances, a script that never strays too close to sentimental and a satisfying ending, Angèle
et Tony
makes for another fanciful, French love tale.

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