An uncurling mystery


A look at Rosalie Blum (M)…

ALWAYS suckers for European films, and especially those from France, we were super-keen to see Rosalie Blum.

It’s a sort of mystery rom-com – a series of happy coincidences – arranged in three acts.

Kyan Khojandi is Vincent a balding and somewhat hangdog hairdresser in a medium-sized town in central France.

He’s the sole carer for his ageing and extremely demanding mother who’s no bowl of cherries to look after.

Vincent does have a girlfriend but she’s moved to Paris so their relationship is largely nurtured via phone and e-mail.

Rosalie Blum (Noemie Lvovsky) runs a small cornerstore-cum-supermarket and it’s when he runs an errand for his Mum that Vincent comes across the shop, and Rosalie.

He’s immediately drawn to her, certain that he’s met her somewhere before.

And so Vincent starts following Rosalie to try and isolate what exactly it is that fascinates him about her.

What could be construed as quite unappealing stalking is quickly uncovered by Rosalie, so she asks her niece Aude (Alice Isaaz) to find out what Vincent’s really doing. What he’s up to, in fact.

Rosalie is curious rather than frightened.

So Aude follows the follower. Actually it’s when Aude includes her best friends Cecile and Laura that the film takes on a zany, Pink Panther-type quality. It’s hilarious.

Rosalie walks from her store after work to choir practice in the cathedral. Then home.

From work to a local bar. And then, home.

Vincent follows, even to the extent of downing a Coke in the bar while Rosalie slowly drinks her whiskies.

And there’s Aude and pals peeping, too. From the front garden surrounds of Rosalie’s home. The watcher being watched from all locations.

It’s when the third act starts, centring on Rosalie, that the plot really starts to make sense.

She phones in to the salon making an appointment to actually have her hair done by Vincent.

Very gradually as director Julien Rappeneau winds us down to the last few frames we finally untangle what it’s all been about.

The last scenes explain all. Why Vincent is fascinated by Rosalie as Rappeneau’s elliptical narrative eventually closes.

Surely Rosalie Blum will be France’s nomination for the Oscar as Best Foreign Language film at next month’s Academy Awards.

It’s moving, hilarious and perfectly crafted.







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