What is Witty Watching?

Madeleine Collins – Movie Review
May 28, 2022

Synopsis: Judith leads a double life: two lovers, two sons in France and one daughter in Switzerland. Entangled in secrets and lies, her lives begin to shatter.

Director: Antoine Barraud

Stars: Virginie Efira, Quim Guiterrez, Bruno Salomone

If you were to ‘Google’ Virginie Efira you would see that she is a Belgian-French actress. There is a link to her IMDB page which will tell you what she’s been in. If you click Photos you will see that she is very beautiful and photogenic. If you click on Videos, you will see the trailers for movies she has been in recently. A quick click of the News heading and you will learn about projects she has been in lately and news of distribution as well as reviews of some of the projects she has been in.

All this information is accurate but allow me to tell you the one thing about Virginie Efira you need to know; In my opinion, she is the best current actress that you have probably never heard of. Now I in no way, shape or form am trying to be condescending by saying that but I don’t think Virginie Efira is a household name in North American the way she is in parts of Europe.

Her films don’t usually play at the Cineplex or Landmark theatres in Canada but usually the independent theatres like Mayfair and Bytowne here in Ottawa. Her films, are , in French. Many people will tell me that they don’t like films with subtitles and while I appreciate their point of view many of the great pieces of television and film, I have seen over the years aren’t in the English language. Parasite, Les Intouchables, Old Boy (The original version), Drive May Car, Another Round are just some of the fantastic pieces of film I have seen that are subtitled and I still maintain Squid Game, the Korean Netflix hit, is the best show I have seen during the pandemic which is also subtitled.

Now Madeleine Collins is in French which is one of our national languages so hopefully the ‘subtitle’ debate will be kept to a minimum with this title.

Back to Efira. I find her fascinating. Every role I have seen her take on, and I have seen many of her films, she has excelled in. Comedy, drama, films with a serious tone, showing strong emotion, generating laughs from her audience, she does it all. I haven’t seen her in an action movie, but I suspect if the role calls for her to jump off of a building, she would nail that too!

The latest film she is in, Madeleine Collins is another exhibition of her amazing talent as an actress.    In this film she plays a woman who is seemingly happily married to an orchestra conductor and has two sons in Paris. But wait, she is also married to a man in Geneva and has a daughter. Our protagonist is living a double life. How? Why? This isn’t a Tinder situation gone wrong but a more complex situation that is well layered by Antoine Barraud who both wrote and directed the film.

And to be clear, this is very much an ensemble film. Barraud and Efira are the captains, but we see strong performances from the supporting cast which includes Jacqueline Bisset, Quim Guiterrez and a good turn from child actor Loise Benguerel.

The ‘living a double life’ storyline we have seen before, but this film adds such an interest dynamic to it. The film is unique and exquisite. Barraud has a strong knack for patient story telling and character development.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, though I feel like a broken record saying that after every time Efira graces us with her presence on screen. The time may come when I don’t like a film she has been in, but it certainly wasn’t Madeleine Collins.

Grade: B+






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