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Bettie (Catherine Deneuve) is in her early sixties. Jilted by her lover, she is left alone to deal with the financial problems facing her family's restaurant. She gets in her car to go for a drive round the block to get away from it all. But the journey turns out not quite like she had planned: there are chance meetings, an ex-Miss France gala, renewed ties with her estranged daughter, the realisation she has a grandson, and at the end of the road, love ... opening new horizons.

Review by Louise Keller:
A stunning performance by Catherine Deneuve as Bettie is the highlight of this warm, life-embracing road movie in which a cigarette break becomes the trigger for change. Director Emmanuelle Bercot's charming film has a great sense of place in the picturesque French countryside as we learn about Bettie through the characters she meets.

Bettie's dusty gold Mercedes is the vehicle that takes her on her travels; catalyst for change is the revelation that Bettie's lover has become entangled with a 25 year old hottie. It is through each of Bettie's encounters as she makes pit stops on her journey, that we learn about her... a little at a time, and often quite unexpectedly. An old codger rolls her a cigarette slowly and painstakingly with swollen fingers. Their conversation starts with the pleasantries about the weather and ends with intimate details about Bettie's marriage. One of the funniest sequences comes when Bettie stops at a night club, where the men make wild animal noises. She wakes up with one of them (Paul Hamy), who promises he 'only growls in private'. This follows after a string of caipirinhas; what woman wants to hear how gorgeous she must have been when she was young (He is considerably younger; she was a former Miss Brittany).

Bettie is in the Loire region when a plea for help arrives from her estranged daughter Muriel (Camille) to take her son Charly (Nemo Schiffman) to his paternal grandfather (Gerard Garouste). The later (who she has never met) hates women who paint their toenails. Each character makes an impression - there is a push-pull aspect to each of their relationships.

The skill of Emmanuelle Bercot's film is that our focus is constantly on Bettie and it is her story that interests us. Things go wrong and things go right and the scene in which a large group gathers for a garden lunch in the gorgeous French rural setting looks like a painting filled with joie de vivre. The film ambles a little and could be tightened, but throughout Deneuve shines brightly, her beauty and warmth mirroring the gorgeous French settings.

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(France, 2013)

Elle s'en va

CAST: Catherine Deneuve, Nemo Schiffman, Gérard Garouste, Camille, Claude Gensac, Paul Hamy, Mylène Demongeot

PRODUCER: Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonier

DIRECTOR: Emmanuelle Bercot

SCRIPT: Emmanuelle Bercot, Jérôme Tonnerre

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Guillaume Schiffman

EDITOR: Julien Leloup


RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 28, 2013

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