La Belle Personne / The Beautiful Person

The Tournées Festival of New French Cinema
Friday, January 21, 2011 - 7:00pm

Loosely based on La Princesse de Clèves, Madame de Lafayette’s 1678 novel about forbidden passions and unrequited love among the aristocracy, Christophe Honoré’s pleasingly tart La Belle Personne plays like a Gallic Gossip Girl. Louis Garrel—who has starred in five of Honoré’s six features, a relationship reminiscent of Jean-Pierre Léaud’s collaboration with François Truffaut—stars as M. Nemours, a popular Italian teacher at a Parisian high school. Nemours, an incorrigible seducer sleeping with the religion teacher and one of his students, doggedly pursues his latest pupil, Junie, the new girl in town who becomes the crush object of all her classmates. As Nemours, who looks barely a day older than his charges, starts to fall head over heels for Junie, she pledges her devotion to classmate Otto; meanwhile, a gay love triangle begins to break apart and a love letter ends up in the wrong hands. Honoré’s wry look at teenage lust and bad adult behavior, filled with dark love songs by Nick Drake, is a pitch-perfect exercise in mood and style, completely besotted with the beauty of its comely cast.

(Christophe Honoré, 2008, 88 min, 35mm)

The Tournées Festival of New French Cinema
January 7-February 4, 2011
For the third winter, the FSC and France Chicago Center partner to bring a series of contemporary French films to campus. This year, spend five Friday evenings with the films of innovative directors whose work represents the best of French cinema today.

Support for the Tournées Festival is provided by The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, The Centre National de la Cinématographie, The Florence Gould Foundation, The Grand Marnier Foundation and highbrow entertainment.