French Film Festival Series: L’Attente (The Wait)

Our most cinephilic francophiles head to the 2016 Melbourne French Film Festival. These are their reviews.

We continue our Melbourne French Film Festival Review Series with our guest writer, Jade Patterson, and her review of Piero Messina’s 2015 film L’Attente (The Wait).

It is a curious fact about life that when we are waiting for something, time grinds to a halt. However, what is perhaps even stranger is not how time itself is distorted, but how it distorts. Waiting blurs the boundaries between expectation and outcome, truth and reality, an experience both ethereally elusive and crushingly tangible as it alters the shape and form of those in its grasp.

L'Attente French at Melbourne Juliette Binoche

The weight of waiting hangs heavily at the core of L’Attente, and Piero Messina measures it with meticulous precision. The disjunction between the real and the imagined is mirrored in the contrast of scenes of dark oppressive interiors, and open bright landscapes, which echoes the stifling interiority of the grieving mother (Juliette Binoche), and the naive optimism of the young Jeanne (Lou de Laâge) who eagerly awaits the return of this mother’s son.

L'Attente French at Melbourne Lou de Laage

As the film treads at a cautious pace, evoking both darkness and light, despair and hope, the spectator is drawn into the liminal world of waiting – we undergo the disarming experience of the blurring of our own expectations and reality. And just as the characters wait for the inevitable change, we change from the wait.

L'Attente French at Melbourne

Catch L’Attente at the festival here.

By Jade Patterson.

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About frenchatmelbourne

Students, alumni and friends of the Melbourne University French Studies Network

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