Palace Nova Cinema’s
Showing now on selected days
Review by Geoff Jenke
Antoinette in the Cevennes is part of the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival now showing at the Palace Nova Cinema’s
Primary school teacher Antoinette (Laure Calamy) has been waiting months for a promised week away with her married lover Vladimir (Benjamin Lavernhe), the father of one of her pupils. However, the plans fail to eventuate when Vladimir’s wife books a surprise hiking trip in the picturesque Cevennes mountains in the South of France, a six-day trek made famous by best-selling author Robert Louis Stevenson.
Impulsively Antoinette decides to follow them and once paired with an unlikely companion – an obstinate but evidently wise grey donkey named Patrick, Antoinette discovers much more than she bargained for.
Writer/director Caroline Vignal gives us a mischievous, funny film that highlights life is about the journey, not the destination and in doing so Antoinette in the Cevennes (also known as My Donkey, My Lover & I (Antoinette Dans Les Cevennes)) has become one of France’s biggest hits of the year.
Robert Louis Stevenson did actually walk the Cevennes, with a donkey, (called Mosestine) setting out on September 22, 1878 for a 12-day, 220-kilometre journey. He chronicled the journey which was subsequently published in 1879 under the title “Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes”.
The film itself is a pure delightful comedy. Not laugh out loud comedy but it will have you smiling all the way through. While Laure Calamy presence on the big screen in wonderful throughout, Patrick the donkey is not far behind. You could say he “kicks ass” with his performance.
Antoinette meets all sorts of character during the film, but perhaps the one she gets to know the best is herself.
Just a wonderful film and one you need to see before the season ends.