8:00 PM, 22nd September, 2012
Alexandre Lagarde (Reno) is a legendary French chef, running the kitchen at his successful 3 Michelin Star restaurant in Paris. But he is losing his edge, struggling to find the passion for food he once enjoyed. Jacky Bonnot (Youn) has almost the opposite problem - he has the culinary skill of his hero Lagarde and is overflowing with passion. So much so that he struggles to keep a job; his love and devotion to his art being more important to him than maintaining a civil relationship with his employers or customers.
When Bonnot lands an internship with Lagarde, he may be the great chef's last hope of saving his restaurant from Stanislas Matter (Boisselier), the corporate (read: evil) owner's son looking for an excuse to get rid of Lagarde and change the restaurant to one featuring molecular gastronomy. But only if these two very different men can learn to get along...
Le Chef is a bawdy comedy that employs the traditional funny man / straight man setup. Youn channels Jerry Lewis as the shameless, know-it-all Bonnot dragging Lagarde through the film, insisting he is trying to help. It's over the top and all a bit silly but there's a lot of fun to be had along the way. And if you don't enjoy the comedy, there's plenty of mouth-watering food on display to keep you in your seat.
9:39 PM, 22nd September, 2012
Two stories of love and responsibility separated by four decades have a common link in this drama from writer and director Jean-Marc Vallée. In 1969, Jacqueline (Paradis) is a single mother who is raising her seven-year-old son Laurent (Marin Gerrier). Laurent was born with Down's Syndrome, and is not expected to live past 25. Jacqueline is determined to do whatever she can for the boy during the time he has, but the stress of these demands take their toll.
Meanwhile, in 2011 Montreal, Antoine (Parent) seems to have it all: a thriving career, two beautiful daughters, partner Rose (Brochu) with whom he is passionately in love. However nothing is perfect, and Antoine's ex-wife Carole (Florent) remains devastated by their recent separation. Carole is experiencing increasing inner turbulence, including sleepwalking and recurring nightmare-like visions. After a visit to a medium, Carole begins to suspect she has some spiritual, metaphysical connection to the past.
There's little doubt that the non-linear narrative, which jumps back and forth in time with frequent regularity, ensures that Café de Flore initially comes off as a somewhat jarring moviegoing experience. However your patience will be rewarded as the various characters are developed and their problems explored. The progressively stirring atmosphere is heightened by Vallée's often astonishing directorial prowess, as the filmmaker offers up a number of engrossing sequences that are nothing short of indelible in their impact. Named for a song beloved by both Antoine and Laurent, Café de Flore was an official selection at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.