Written and Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Starring Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Helene Florent and Evelyne Brochu
When it comes to love, sometimes it feels as if there are greater forces at work and that we have no control over who we’re drawn to or how deeply we can feel. For some, a love as untamable as this is often considered to be destiny, as if it were written in the stars long before we were ever born. This sense of romance intertwined with fate runs rampant if Quebec filmmaker, Jean-Marc Vallée’s latest feature, CAFE DE FLORE, a love story that needs more than one lifetime in order to work itself out.
Whether you enjoy CAFE DE FLORE or not will depend on whether you buy into the connection between these two plots. Vallée tells them both with great style; at times, the editing unspools like a record being mixed and scratched by a DJ, surely done to compliment the main character’s career as one. In fact, a general connection to music is a theme that runs throughout and ties characters together when nothing else is working. Love itself, and the relationships that spring from it, is hard enough to figure out on its own and Vallée infuses this journey towards understanding into his storytelling. To his credit, Vallée inspires a fair amount of curiosity but the anticipation he builds throughout the film ends up being slightly more satisfying than the destination.