The New Orleans French Film Festival kicks off tonight. Beloved stars Catherine Deneuve, who at 68 is still stunning. The film also stars her daughter Chiara Mastroianni, and the two are a mother-daughter pair who we see over the course of three decades. Ludivine Sagnier is the young and alluring Madeleine who almost innocently finds herself engaging in prostitution to pay for the clothes and shoes she prefers. She falls in love with Jaromil (Radivoje Bukvic), a Czech doctor studying in Paris, and she follows him to Prague. They split when Soviet tanks roll into Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s, and the rest of the film follows their relationship over time, and the relationships of their daughter (Mastroianni), which are a bit more tortured. The film has musical numbers and director Christophe Honore strikes an entertaining balance between the humorous and difficult happenstances of the many relationships. Longer preview here.
The film festival continues at The Prytania through Aug. 16 (schedule here). Most of the films are recent French releases (subtitled in English). Two classic films include the 1945 French Film Children of Paradise and the American musical Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, some of which is set in Paris. Especially of note is Farewell, My Queen, a drama about the crumbling of the monarchy at Versailles as French revolutionaries storm the Bastille. Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) is shrewd about politics, self-absorbed with her own whims and pleasures and vicious when pursuing her desires. Trailer after the jump.