Antoinette in the Cévennes is the perfect escapism movie. The French romantic comedy is entertaining and captures the beauty of the Cévennes National Park
Antoinette (Laure Calamy) is a primary school teacher in Paris who is having an affair with Vladimir (Benjamin Lavernhe), the father of one of her students.
Her plans to spend some of the holiday break with him are thrown into chaos when Vladimir announces his wife Eleonore (Olivia Côte) has arranged a family walking holiday along the Stevenson Trail, the renowned French walk made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson, located within the Cévennes National Park
Antoinette decides to ‘surprise’ him by joining the family on the trail. The only problem – when she arrives there’s no sign of Vladimir or his family. And in keeping with the holiday Eleonore has organised, Antoinette is to undertake the walk with a donkey.
Having never been on a walking tour she has no idea what to expect. Dinner with other walkers in the group on the first night suggests walking with a donkey isn’t a great idea.
This view is confirmed shortly after when she and her donkey of choice, Patrick, start on the trail. As she quickly discovers Patrick has a mind of his own. However, the two eventually form a bond helped by a night spent on the trail in the elements as a result of getting lost.
When Antoinette eventually catches up with Vladimir and his family she also discovers Patrick is a pretty good judge of character!
Calamy, who is best known for her role in the Netflix French TV series Call My Agent won the César Award for Best Actress for her role as Antoinette. It’s easy to see why. She is very believable as the needy, spoilt, insecure and morally dubious Antoinette. Indeed Antoinette’s initial self-absorbed whining about her life to Patrick while walking the trail is the only downside of the movie.
At the same time Calamy is equally skilled in portraying Antoinette’s increasing confidence in her own abilities and self-awareness after she discovers what kind of man Vladimir really is. And her scenes with Patrick are definitely a highlight.
Unlike many of the other movies currently showing in Australia, Antoinette in the Cévennes is never going to win a best movie industry award. However, for those looking for a lighthearted fun movie with a couple of laugh out loud scenes and some magnificent scenery it may be a personal award winner.
Advanced screenings of Antoinette in the Cévennes are being held in Sydney and Melbourne over the Easter long weekend with a full theatrical release from April 8 in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth, April 15 in Brisbane and April 22 in Adelaide.
- movie, review
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