FIN Review: Belle Epoque a film of elegant, nostalgic beauty

La Belle Époque is the type of film that only comes along once every few years. A resplendent mix of Charlie Kaufman humour and reminiscent of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, this French film will transport you.

Victor is a cartoonist past his prime. Ransacked from his newspaper job, publishing himself with not much success, he finds his wife droll and his son a technologically-brilliant young man who has lost touch with reality.

So when his wife leaves him, and his son offers him a VR-style referral to a company that transports you to any time, any place in history using actors and sets, he attempts to move to an easier time in his life.

He doesn’t want to recreate the popular themes, or even be someone else in this fantasy. Victor yearns to be himself on a specific May day in 1974 — the day he met his wife for the first time, and his love for her changed the trajectory of his life. As we see Victor reminisce and escape, he falls in love with the young woman who’s playing the young version of his wife.

What follows is a beautiful, Inception-style plot with a hefty helping of romance, and a sentimental storyline so strong that you’ll leave wondering where you’d go back in time to, if given the chance.

The performances are top-notch, and it’s one of the best-executed scripts I’ve seen translated to film this year. This film, right here, is a classic for this time period.

4.5/5 Stars

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