Director: Bavo Defurne
cast: Isabelle Huppert, Kevin Azais, Johan Leysen
Genre: Drama, Romance, Music
Language: French with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Belgium-Luxembourg-France 2016 90 mins. (15)
Released by StudioCanal
Liliane (Isabelle Huppert) works in the Porluxe pâté factory. Once a rising star, a chanteuse and finalist in a Eurovison-style contest, she has wilfully drifted into the shadows. So it’s unsurprising that she is horrified when talented young boxer Jean (Kévin Azaïs), who has a day job at the factory, recognises her. Jean is ‘ooh la la’, a sweet young thing – all manners and muscles, totally besotted with Liliane and utterly convinced of her musical genius. He persuades her to come out of retirement and the two begin a passionate affair, though not everyone around them is supportive of their inter-generational relationship. With Souvenir, Bavo Defurne (North Sea Texas and Schoolboy, Sailor, Saint, a short film collection released by the BFI) has created a candy coloured gem – think Pierre et Gilles for design references. With enthralling performances from Huppert and Azaïs, and an original soundtrack by Pink Martini that you’ll be singing long afterwards, this is one of the sweetest love stories of the Festival. 2016 London Film Festival.