SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL – LOVE SONGS FOR TOUGH GUYS

Rating: R18+
Length: 107 mins
Cast: Fran├žois Damiens, Vanessa Paradis, Ramzy Bedia

Vanessa Paradis stars in a delightfully unconventional comedy about ageing crooks finding love through poetry and the performing arts. Official Selection, Cannes 2021.

Love is truly strange and wonderful. Just ask veteran gang boss Jeff (Fran├žois Damiens) and his senescent sidekicks. Young punks are muscling in on his turf but Jeff’s main concern is winning the heart of Roxane, a young supermarket cashier he adores from afar. Taking a leaf from the Cyrano de Bergerac playbook, Jeff writes love poems to Roxane that are hand-delivered by his henchman (Ramzy Bedia). Meanwhile, Jeff’s grizzled enforcer Jacky (Gustave Kervern) meets Suzanne (Paradis), a suburban widow about to play Simone de Beauvoir in a community theatre musical. With an all-star ensemble including Bouli Lanners, Joeystarr and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Samuel Benchetrit’s (I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster, SFF 2008) new film is wonderfully eccentric, huge-hearted and giddily romantic.