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Movie passnotes: We look at romantic drama Suite Francaise


Kristen Scott Thomas

Kristen Scott Thomas


Kristen Scott Thomas

Director: Saul Dibb (2014)

Who's in it? Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas, Matthias Schoenaerts

What's it about? Suite Francaise portrays the often impassioned relationship between occupier and occupied with warmth and colour against the cold, hard backdrop of the Nazi occupation of France.

Based on Irene Nemirovsky's 2004 true life novel of the same name, Suite Francaise is set in German occupied France in 1940 and tells the story of French villager Lucille (Williams), anxiously awaiting news of her husband, a prisoner of war in a Nazi POW camp, when a troop of German soldiers and handsome German officer Bruno (Schoenaerts) turn her world upside down.

When Bruno is posted at Lucille's house, despite her attempts to ignore him, perhaps inevitably, she falls for him. Searching for her missing husband while struggling with her conflicted feelings and with an overbearing mother-in-law (Scott-Thomas) to contend with, Lucille must come to terms with her confused new situation and decide where her loyalties lie.

Memorable Moments? In one sequence Parisian refugees are seen streaming into a small French village from the country, a long line of bodies as far as the eye can see, when panic breaks out as German fighter planes swoop down dropping bombs, scattering everyone into the wheat fields on either side of the narrow country lane.

Look who's talking: "Sterling performances lift the occasionally soapy storyline in this semi-successful adaptation." - Empire

Like that? Try this: Starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz, Captain Correlli's Mandolin (2001) is a similarly-pitched adaptation in which a Greek fisherman's wife falls in love with an Italian officer when her husband goes off to war

Trivia Pursuit: The costume design was based on French magazines and movies of the period to ensure authenticity.

  • Suite Francaise is in cinemas now

Belfast Telegraph