This unusual French drama revolves around the complicated, frustrating and bizarre world of Victoria, a sexually unsatisfied Parisian criminal lawyer who is also a divorced, single mother of two daughters and is currently caught in the middle of a serious legal case between her friends.
While at a friend’s wedding, an old ex-partner and current friend of Victoria is accused of assaulting his girlfriend by stabbing her with a dessert knife. He begs Victoria to be his lawyer and defend him in court, and she unwillingly agrees. This begins a complicated unravelling of a tangle of friendships, relationships and careers in a bizarre scenario where both a Dalmatian and chimp are key in the outcome of the case.
In Bed With Victoria is the epitome of a dramatic life; as her younger boyfriend tells her, “you’re the Queen of Drama Queens”. The editing and use of music seems structured by the Director to mirror the emotional chaos of Victoria’s life and the dramatic narrative which unfolds. At times the drama is almost unbearable as her life slides along unrelenting downward spiral into chaos.
Our protagonist Victoria is unfathomable at times; she seems bored and underwhelmed when around her two lively daughters (as well as smoking around them). When her very own toy-boy tells her he has purposely broken her computer, she doesn’t get mad and instead calmly asks him if he “feels okay”. She also, unbelievably, immediately forgives him when he tells her that he has been stealing money from her throughout the time he babysat her children!
Despite the characters appearing rather bizarre with their questionable and often frustrating behaviour, the actors in the roles show dedication to capturing their off-beat characters. Belgian actress, Virginie Efira, plays the leading lady with total conviction, capturing her chaotic emotional interpretation of life (while looking unbelievably amazing throughout).
Vincent Lacoste is perfect as the whiney, much younger toy-boy, Samuel Mallet, who becomes Victoria’s babysitter but has dreams of entering the law profession and Victoria’s heart. He wholeheartedly slips into the role of his often-changing character caught between moments of adult responsibility and adolescent whining for Victoria’s limited attention.
If you’re up for a drama that is dramatically different, In Bed With Victoria may be right up your alley, but if you’re after something a little more predictable or up-beat then steer clear.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 10: 5
In Bed With Victoria will screen on 31 March and again on 3, 18, 20 April for the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, which runs 30 March – 23 April 2017 exclusively at the Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas.