Posted by: greercn | March 16, 2015

Suite Française

Every bit of “Suite” harks back to another and gentler time. There is death, drama and Nazi-occupied France, but it’s the sweet and plausible love story that will get under your skin.

Michelle Williams is Lucile, a bored young wife forced to live with her mother-in-law, played by a terrific Kristin Scott Thomas. Lucile’s husband is absent and out of contact and the two very different women have an uneasy alliance.

Into their lives comes the nicest and most gorgeous actor ever to play a Nazi officer. Matthias Schoenaerts (“Bullhead” and “Rust and Bone”) is billeted in the house and the actor’s portrayal of Bruno von Falk is terrific.

The mood, lighting and music all add to the extraordinary atmosphere of 1940 France, although it was filmed in Marville, Belgium.

If you’ve read the book, you may be annoyed by some of the liberties taken with key scenes. Yet the whole feels so very satisfactory to watch that you forget these changes until well after the final scene.

The end credits use the original manuscript to touching effect.

Sam Riley and Ruth Wilson are among the many actors who enhance the sense of period and place.

It reminded me of why I love old films so much as it captures a softer tone than modern and more graphic films do.

The Stratford East Picturehouse audience all enjoyed it.

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