It's impossible not to be charmed by this cheeky French comedy, even if it's utterly predictable and never remotely breaks its gorgeously designed surfaces. But it's packed with moments of riotous comedy and surprising drama that keep us on our toes, almost making us forget that we're watching a foreign movie about a typing competition. It also has a secret weapon in Romain Duris, an unconventional romantic lead who's irresistibly appealing.
The period is the late 1950s, when life for a young woman in a tiny village didn't offer many options. After years working for her shop-owner father (Pierrot), Rose (Francois) finally breaks free, applying for a secretarial job in a nearby town. Despite having no experience, insurance broker Louis (Duris) sees a spark in her and gives her a shot. As they begin to flirt, Louis notices that Rose is eerily adept at typing with two fingers, and he enters her in a local competition, which she wins. As she rises through the national rankings, she begins to fall for him. But he's reluctant to let his guard down after the woman he has always loved, Marie (Bejo), married his best friend Bob (Benson).
Filmmaker Roinsard has a great eye for recreating the period, shooting scenes with the same attention to detail as an episode of Mad Men, but with a lot more sassy humour. He also lets his crew go wild with stylish hair and colourful costumes, plus a fantastic song score. In this post-War setting, the actors are able to catch us off guard with their attitudes to class, politics and most notably gender. Francois gives Rose a feisty determination that's wonderful to watch, because we root for her to break through a multitude of barriers. And opposite her Duris gives another prickly but likeable turn as a not always attractive man who clearly has real depth.
Continue reading: Populaire Review
The new movie could prove to be the latest French success on U.S. shores.
It probably won't take you long to work out that Populaire, the new vintage romantic-comedy from debut director Regis Roinsard, is financed by The Weinstein Company. It's got all the hallmarks for Harvey Weinstein's silent French Oscar winner The Artist, while playing on some of the popular themes from AMC's darling Mad Men. Oh, and there's a touch of Amelie in their good measure.
Whether the movie turns out to be the next Weinstein success story remains to be seen, though the trailer certainly hints at a fun filled couple of hours. Populaire follows the story of 21-year-old Rose Pamphyle (Deborah Francois) who escapes her predictable life in a picturesque French village and travels to Lisieux in Normandy, where she meets charistmatic and handsome insurance agency boss Louis Echard (Romain Duris). Though her interview to be his secretary ends in disaster, Louis notices that Rose has a special talent for speed type and subsequently enters her in the national championship. Not your average Hollywood plotline, huh? Bolstered by a supporting cast that includes The Artist's Bérénice Bejo, Populaire appears immaculately styled and instantly likeable.
Rose Pamphyle is a 21-year-old French girl in the 1950s living in dread of the inevitable life of a housewife; invisible to the rest of the world and living in the shadow of her fiancé, a local mechanic. Desperate to pave a more fulfilling path in life, she seeks out a job as a secretary and lands an interview with the head of an insurance company who happens to be the handsome and magnetic Louis Echard. Unfortunately, she makes a terrible mess of the interview and proves to be unfit for the important role. However, Echard is taken aback when he witnesses Rose's fingers flying across a typewriter at an incredible speed and decides to offer her a job - at a price. She has ignited a sporting passion in him and he is determined that she compete in the Regional Championship of Touch Typing with personal training from him. Working so closely together, Echard finds him more and more captivated by Rose, but will his competitive streak form a wedge between them?
Continue: Populaire Trailer
When he was a baby, Ambrosio was raised by Capucin monks in a Spanish monastery. He becomes a devout monk and, as an adult, his sermons are among the most popular in the country, if not the most popular. However, most of his fellow monks are jealous of Ambrosio's success.
Continue: The Monk Trailer
Date of birth
24th May, 1987
It's impossible not to be charmed by this cheeky French comedy, even if it's utterly...
When he was a baby, Ambrosio was raised by Capucin monks in a Spanish monastery....