I was 0 for 3 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's French Film Festival with movies I didn’t even wish to review*, but yesterday I had the great pleasure of seeing Writer/Director Carine Tardieu’s cinematic treasure Just To Be Sure (Ôtez-Moi D’Un Doute) and my faith in French Cinema has been, not only renewed, but heightened.
This gem of a film starts out with middle-aged bomb disposal expert Erwan Gourmelon (François Damiens) taking his pregnant daughter Juliette (Alice De Lencquesaing) for a DNA test to see if her baby is in danger of inheriting her grandmother’s cancer gene. Though the test proves the baby will be safe, it shows that Erwan’s father (Guy Marchand) is not his birth father.
What develops is a wonderful relationship story that only the French could conceive. It is sometimes funny, sometimes hilarious and always charming thanks to Tardieu and her co-writing team of Baya Kasmi, Michel Leclerc and Raphaël Moussafir.
The extraordinary Cécile de France and André Wilms round out the key elements of this beautiful film.
Best of all is the surprising resolution the audience is left to figure out after the film ends. It made me chuckle and smile hours after viewing and still brings a broad grin to my face as I write this review.
Thank you, Carine Tardieu. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
Just To Be Sure (Ôtez-Moi D’Un Doute) most definitely deserves its 5 out of 5. If it does not get more of a theatrical distribution in the U.S., it’s worth a trip to Paris to see it.
*The 3 duds I wish to forget were the amateurish July Tales, the ridiculous Ava and the insipid Montparnasse Bienvenue.