Old age takes centre stage in And If We All Lived Together
by Fabien Lemercier
18/01/2012 - While this Wednesday marks the accomplished directorial debut of novelist Frédéric Beigbeder with the irony-fuelled romantic comedy Love Lasts Three Years [trailer] (see news - EuropaCorp Distribution in almost 300 theatres), also standing out in the panorama of 11 new releases is Stéphane Robelin’s French/German co-production And If We All Lived Together [trailer], launched by Bac Films on a generous 250-print run. Unveiled as the closing film at the latest Locarno Film Festival and carried by a surprising cast including Guy Bedos, Germany’s Daniel Brühl, English-American actress Geraldine Chaplin, American thesp Jane Fonda, Claude Rich and Pierre Richard, the film explores a subject often avoided on the big screen: ageing.
Scripted by the director, the film traces the trials and tribulations of five people who have been friends for over 40 years. They are starting to experience health problems associated with their advanced age and decide to live together to avoid the dreaded retirement home. This cohabitation will awaken old memories in this little community of “bon vivants”.
"Taking this serious, almost taboo subject as my starting point, I imagined a cheerful ensemble film, in no way depressing, where the moments most imbued with sadness would always be lightened by humour", said Robellin. "I dreamed of bringing together some actors and offering them lead roles, whereas actors of that age, despite their extraordinary careers, are often relegated to supporting characters."
A date with youth is also lined up with the arrival in theatres today of Marie-Castille Mention Schaar’s film about teenage love, My First Time [trailer] (Mars Distribution on a 200-print run). Also hitting screens are three other French productions: Jean-Pierre Denis’s unusual Here Below [trailer] (see news), featuring rising star Céline Sallette (Pyramide on 53 screens); Delphine Kreuter’s Dubai Flamingo (see news - Alfama Films on 13 screens); and Rithy Panh’s extraordinary documentary
Among the non-domestic European films, French critics have been singing the praises of Turn Me On, Goddammit [trailer] by Norway’s Jannicke Systad Jacobsen (see video interview - Zootrope Films on 20 screens), while other releases include Daniel Duqué’s Swiss film Beyond the Leaves of the Tree [trailer] (Merlin Films) and Ali Samadi Ahadi’s German documentary The Green Wave (DistriBFilms).
(Translated from French)