Writer: Saul Dibb, Matt Charman (Screenplay) Irene Nemirovsky (Novel)
Starring: Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie, Eric Godon, Matthias Schoenaerts, Sam Riley
Plot: During the early years of Nazi occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams), a French villager, and Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), a German soldier.
Tagline – Forces to host the enemy. Tormented by intruders. Tempted by desire
Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Largely Forgettable
Story: Suite Francaise starts in a small French village at the start of the war where Lucile (Williams) is living with her mother-in-law Madame (Thomas) who have taken on the landlord role for her husband who is out at war. Forced into letting a German soldier Lieutenant Bruno von Falk (Schoenaerts) into their home, which stirs up a mix of emotions for Lucile.
As the time with the officer increases Lucile learns that not everyone is as evil as they come off as just because they are on the other side of the war and a romance between the two starts against everything she has been taught.
Thoughts on Suite Francaise
Characters – Lucile has seen her husband go to war and now lives in the shadow of her mother in law. She isn’t like through the village because of her position even though she is a fairer person than the people see, she befriends her German officer which offers a romance on a level her husband could never achieve. Lt Bruno von Falk stays with the Andellier family, he is a good man being forced into war, he is highly educated which leads to his romance with Lucile. Madame is the landlady who has taken over her son’s work while at war, she is strict and typical rich character looking down on the people during war.
Performances – The performances in the film are the strongest part of the film, Michelle Williams Kristin Scott Thomas and Matthias Schoenaerts are a delight to watch as their characters go about their days during the early stages of the war.
Story – The story here follows the French villagers who must put up with the invading German soldiers that are trying to follow their orders while the French are trying to go about their days. We are thrown into romantic angles which feel more like glorified gossip over making any point about the war. The story is slow paced and tried to show the humanity the soldiers had even if they were the enemy for the most part.
Romance/War– The romance leaves us looking at a what if scenario between two people from different sides of the war, the war side of the film shows how the families would have been left to deal with soldiers if their husbands or fathers were not around.
Settings – The film gives us a beautiful looking French village for the backdrop which helps us see the calmness in the chaos of war.
Final Thoughts – This is a slow moving movie, it has a romance that doesn’t really connect with the only strength coming from the performances.
Overall: Slow and not the most interesting.