French Film Festival Review: Place Publique


AgnèsJaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, four time co-winners of the César Award for Best Writing and, co-winners of the 2004 Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival, have released their latest co-written film, Place Publique.

The film is set in the home of Nathalie, played by Léa Drucker, who upon moving to the countryside hosts a housewarming party, inviting many of her film industry friends. Other similarly classed upstanding friends are invited however many are also left off the invitation list, including her countryside neighbours.

Some of the concepts raised in this film are comparable to the 2017 film C’est la vie! within which Jean-Pierre Bacri also starred, although the focus of this film is a different cross section of society. In Place Publique Jean-Pierre as Castro is a brash, arrogant, out-of-line television show presenter and housewarming host Nathalie is his producer. Other guests at the party include the young, upcoming social media entertainers, the town mayor, Castro’s ex-wife and, various other industry and family members.

At the time of the party, Jean-Pierre’s ratings are at an all-time low; his daughter has just released a book that does not flatter him and, he has become highly conscious of his younger, attractive wife’s dalliances. It is as if his whole world is crashing in on him. Castro’s midlife crisis crash is amusingly interwoven into other guest’s foibles, intensifying the turmoil at the party. The film moves quickly and there is no time to predict what will happen next!

AgnèsJaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri have been in the film industry for over thirty-five years, were partners for twenty-five of those years and, have continued to work together since their break up in 2012. The film is a highly enjoyable and comical narrative of generational differences, contrasting classes, patriarchy and, displays many relationship interplays typically French.

Place Publique screens as part of the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2019, at Palace Nova Eastend and Prospect.

Check out screening times here.

The French even do a mid-life crisis with class! 3.5 stars

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