Writer & Director / Martin Provost (SERAPHINE, VIOLETTE)
Stars/ Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet and Quentin Dolmaire
Two great Catherine’s of French cinema, Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot, headline the absorbing drama, THE MIDWIFE.
Midwife Claire (Frot), a late forties single mother of adult son Simon (Dolmaire), returns home from work one night to a surprise voicemail left by her father’s former lover, Béatrice (Deneuve). Quite keen to keep the unwanted reunion a short-lived one, Claire discovers that letting go of Béatrice isn’t as straightforward as she may have hoped, after receiving some unexpected news.
Boasting suitably splendid performances from its leading ladies and featuring excellent characterisation, THE MIDWIFE adds another healthy arrival to the French cinema world.
Before the revelation of that aforementioned unexpected news, THE MIDWIFE introduces the small number of activities and people that form the essential parts of Claire’s life. For a short time from Béatrice’s appearance, some mystery surrounding their connection in the past and the cause for their long separation is upheld. This segment of the film draws in enough curiosity to help maintain further investment once it is no longer concealing past secrets of its core characters. As it continues, the focus from writer/director Martin Provost shifts to the meaningful development and trajectory of the two women’s interactions. For viewers who may appreciate a little more, THE MIDWIFE has some extra depth in identifying the role that Claire and Béatrice are playing in one another’s lives. This is especially pivotal to comprehend when evaluating the concessions made by the sometimes inexplicably kind-hearted Claire.
Not every facet of their shared time together will be of equal interest to everyone, however, the most important moments are the ones that occupy the majority of screen time in this French drama that delivers the goods.
3 ½ stars
Viewer Discretion/ PG (Mild themes and coarse language)
Trailer / THE MIDWIFE/SAGE FEMME
Moviedoc thanks Palace Films for the invite to the screening of this film.
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