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French films review - September 2018

A critical eye on the latest ciné releases

27 August 2018
By Connexion journalist

The Apparition, Dir: Xavier Giannoli; 138 mins

Frazzled after one war reporting mission too many – and a tragic recent personal loss in the Middle East – newspaper journalist Jacques (the ever-magnificent Vincent Lindon) returns to the relative tranquility of his native France.

However, his next job soon comes along – and it is an unusual one from an unexpected source: The Vatican.

The Catholic church asks him to carry out a canonical investigation, to determine the veracity of a teenage girl’s reported sighting of the Virgin Mary.

For someone who admits to not even believing in God (“I think there may be something, but I am not a believer”) this is the ultimate test of Jacques’ scepticism.

He is immediately fascinated by the girl (a super turn by Galatea Bellugi as Anna), who tells him: “I am not a liar”. He believes her, as do the crowds already making a pilgrimage to the apparition site in the Alps. But the church is less convinced, even if they feel protective of the girl: “The Church will always prefer to miss a true miracle rather than to recognize an sham,” admits a young priest.

What follows is a detective story imbued with reflections on evidence-based rationality and inner conviction. So is girl really telling the truth?

Also out: 

Racer and the Jailbird

A female racing driver (Bibi) and a male bank robber (Gigi) form a hi-octane couple in this entertaining action-drama.

The English title is less pleasing than the original: La Fidèle (The Faithful One).

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