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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:25 pm 
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CAROLINE VIGNAL: MY DONKEY, MY LOVER, AND I/ANTOINETTE DANS LES CÉVENNES (2020) - RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA 2021

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LAURE CALAMY IN ANTOINETTE DANS LES CÉVENNES

Holiday frolic with Laure Calamy

Also known in English as My Donkey, My Lover & I, this movie stars Laure Calamy, the charming actress who plays Noëmie, the girlfriend of Mathias Barneville in the Netflix series "Call My Agent" ("Dix pour cent"). This role is designed for her, as the impulsive, irresistibly emotional schoolteacher Antoinette, who follows her married lover Vladimir, father of one of her fifth grade students, when he has to delay their summertime tryst for a week to go on a trek with his wife and daughter and a donkey through one of the most scenic parts of France. Based on Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson. Things get hilairously complicated when Antoinette actually catches up with Vladimir and co. As the film explains, Stevenson's trip also was inspired by love of a married woman, whom he later married - for life.

Laure Calamy, not surprising if you know her from "Call My Agent," is a continual delight here as Antoinette. So are the scenes with her donkey, Patrick, who seems so sentient and human that he only walks along smoothly when Antoinette talks to him and recounts her past love affairs to him. This is just one of Vignal's successful tricks.

AlloCiné press rating: 4.0.

"This delightful, melancholy comedy provides the excellent Laure Calamy with one of the best roles of her career and is one of French cinemas' best surprises of La Rentrée [the back-to-school fall season]." - Olivier De Bruyn, Marianne. La rentrée is particularly special for the French, and when many of their best new films are introduced in cinemas. Antoinette dans les Cévennes is a good film for this moment in the year because it's a funny and sensual evocation of vacation time. Warning, though: this trip doesn't go anywhere!

Antoinette dans les Cévennes, 97 mins., debuted Paris (Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Français) Jan. 2020, also Haugesund, Norway; Angoulême, and Brussels; French theatrical release Sept. 16, 2020; UK internet, Mar. 2021. Screened for this review as part of the virtual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema (Lincoln Center, UniFrance), Mar. 5, 2012.

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