On a triumphant night for the socialists in 1981, the streets of Paris are full of celebrating people. Hope for the better is in the air, but Élisabeth’s (Charlotte Gainsbourg) life is near collapsing. Abandoned by her husband and full of doubt about her own capabilities, she must recreate herself while getting by day to day with two teenage children. By coincidence and necessity, Élisabeth ends up working for a night radio show where listeners can vent on the air. One night, Élisabeth comes across a young woman whom she wants to help. The decision has far-reaching consequences.
Director Mikhaël Hers walks in the footsteps of maestro Éric Rohmer, painting a picture of life and the passing of time. He shows us the full range of human emotions from falling in love to breaking up and from loss to a new beginning, in touching and elegant manner. Over the course of a decade, the pieces of Élisabeth’s story advance enjoyably without huge drama. The scenes are paced with nostalgic archive footage, the soundtrack, and the decor of a Parisian flat. The eighties come to life with striking detail, down to the casting of Emmanuelle Béart, the greatest find of French cinema of the era.
Mikhaël Hers (b. 1975 in Paris) studied Film Production at La Fémis in his hometown. After graduating he moved from production to directing and his first film Charell screened at Cannes in 2006. Three years later his follow up film Montparnasse won the SFR Prize at Cannes. Hers debuted with his first feature film in 2010: a tender portrait of young Parisians, Memory Lane marked his talent as a skilled interpreter of human emotions. His second feature This Summer Feeling (2015) won the Grand Jury Prize at Bordeaux IFF and in 2018 a fragile story of siblings, Amanda, opened to critical acclaim at Venice Film Festival. (Milja Mikkola)