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MSPIFF: The Girl from Monaco

Posted at 5:17 PM on April 17, 2009 by Euan Kerr

The one offering I have had a chance to watch for tonight is the French film "The Girl from Monaco."

It's a film which starts as a breezy comedy about a highly starched trial lawyer hired to defend a woman accused of killing her much younger lover in the sun-kissed principality of Monaco.

Bertrand the lawyer (the always interesting Fabrice Luchini) is quickly surrounded by a group of quirky characters including Christophe (Roschdy Zem) a bodyguard Bertrand doesn't believe he needs, and Audrey (Louise Bourgoin) a singing weathercaster who takes a surprising liking to Bertrand. She won't take no for an answer and against his better judgement (and Christophe's dire warnings) Bertrand is smitten.

But there are some darker forces at work here, and writer/director Anne Fontaine cleverly leaves some important details unresolved, including some real questions about the motivations of the some of the characters. While this is frustrating, it leaves the ending open to interpretation, which in turn raises questions about other parts of the film. This is a film which may keep on giving.

April 2009
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