Quick Film Guide: Lulu in the Nude (Sólveig Anspach, 2013)

Lulu femme nue
Directed by Sólveig Anspach

Lulu (Karin Viard), a repressed woman approaching middle age, decides to take a break from her ordinary life as a wife and a mother after a botched interview. Along the way, on this unofficial “holiday,” she meets some people and shares a connection with her that will help bring some glow back to her unhappy life.

Lulu in the Nude is perhaps the film that best showcases the balance of Nordic and French storytelling in Sólveig Anspach’s cinema. While its structure seems lifted out of an Aki Kaurismaki work, it also renews Anspach’s commitment to a type of feelgood vibe marked by subtle feminism – including here, a giveaway reference to Simone de Beauvoir.

A tastefully restrained comedy-drama that comes from a very real, ordinary situation, Lulu in the Nude does have its visually pleasant moments, including one that sees its lead character night swimming naked, which is hinted at in the title.

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Quick Film Guide: The Queen of Montreuil (Sólveig Anspach, 2013)

Queen of Montreuil
Directed by Solvéig Anspach

Agathe (Florence Loiret Caille) returns to her home in Montreuil, France, one early summer, carrying the ashes of her dead husband. The arrival of a few interesting characters to her house will help her get her life back on track and process the loss.

Queen of Montreuil, directed by French-Icelandic filmmaker Sólveig Anspach is a comedy drama about dealing with loss and the importance of human connection. While it isn’t a very original take, it has a simple, feelgood charm about it and impresses for its quirky sense of humor, subtle celebration of multi-culturality and moments of realism – including the presence of a sea lion and uses of animation.

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