Friday, January 8, 2016

Movie Review: Suite Française

Good Morning!

Today I am going to pen a quick review on the movie Suite Francaise, which I had the pleasure of discovering around two weeks ago.

Suite Francaise (the movie) is based off of the book with the same title. The story of the book's discovery is as interesting as any other story I have read lately. The book was written by a woman named Irene Nemirovsky, a French writer of Jewish descent who had planned to write five novels. Nemirovsky was arrested in 1942 and was detained at Pithiviers and later Auschwitz. She only completed two of the five novels before her death in Auschwitz. The unfinished work was kept away in a suitcase for fifty years by Nemirovsky's daughter until she finally decided to investigate its contents in the late 90's. Upon finding that it was not her mother's journal/diary but instead a novel written by her mother, Nemirovsky's daughter had the book published. It was released in 2004.

Irene Nemirovsky
The film adaptation is based off of part of the book and was released in 2014. It revolves around a young Frenchwoman (Lucille) whose husband is away fighting in World War II. Nazi soldiers enter Lucille's town and are assigned different houses to stay in. A German commander, Bruno, is assigned to her house. She tentatively begins to fall in love with him.

There are a lot of other complexities to the plot, but ultimately that is the briefest summary I can write without giving too much information away. As usual, here are some pictures so that you can understand the aesthetics of the way the movie was filmed:

Now, for my thoughts on the movie. Although a bit slow a times, I really did enjoy the plot of this movie. Often times, people feel as though World War 2 was one-fold with regards to the social relationships that formed. "The Germans were bad." Well yes, the Nazi Party stood for some very horrific ideals, but that doesn't mean that every single person in the party was innately evil. The focus of the book and movie is on basic, universal human emotions. 

This movie exploits that delicacy involved in human relationships. In this movie, the German commander (Bruno) was not all evil. And that's the catch with anything. Humans are not all evil or all good. It is a blend of both.

Having said that, the acting in this movie was fairly decent. I felt as though Michelle Williams was a little flat, but she still did an okay job. Matthias Schoenaerts was heart-stopping. Kristin Scott Thomas was very good too.

The best part of this movie was the soundtrack. It is one of the most beautiful soundtracks I have heard in the past couple of years. Rael Jones is the composer of the fabulous pieces. Here is my favorite from the movie: 

I would recommend that you watch this movie if you want something a bit slower paced but still attention-grabbing. The cinematography was very well-done, allowing this movie to keep you enthralled for the entirety of its duration. I am working on reading the book now, so I will let you know my thoughts on that as well. I will say though, that for the first time ever I actually am preferring the movie to the book due to its faster pace!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful and relaxing week! 


  1. this looks like a very good film and Ive never heard of it thanks for sharing

    1. I definitely recommend it! I had never heard of it either until I stumbled upon Matthias on Google. Hope you are doing well! Cheers x

  2. I've been wanting to watch this film for a while now and you've inspired me to make sure I do. I love the idea of this story that, like you said, people are not all evil or all good. I was interested to hear the story about the author of the original book, I had no idea who she was or what she went through.

    1. It is really quite fascinating! I just finished the book, and I enjoyed it, but for the first time ever I think I prefer the movie. I definitely recommend checking out both though; thanks for commenting! Cheers x

  3. Thank you for the engaging review, sweet Jessie. As a lifelong student of WW2 history (very much including the German side of things), this film caught my eye instantly and I really hope I'm able to catch it soon, too.

    ♥ Jessica