110 minutes – Drama
Language: French, English
Release date: September 23, 2011
DVD Release date:
Canadian Distributor: Alliance Vivafilm
Café de Flore is a love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways. Atmospheric, fantastical, tragic and hopeful, the film chronicles the parallel fates of Jacqueline, a young mother in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently-divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal. What binds the two stories together is love – euphoric, obsessive, tragic, youthful and ultimately timeless love. Antoine, seems to have it all: a thriving career, two beautiful daughters, his partner Rose with whom he is passionately in love. However, nothing is perfect and Antoine’s ex-wife Carole remains devastated by their recent separation. Heartbroken, her sense of self has been shattered and her hold on reality has been gradually slipping away. Her dreams are haunted by two recurrent figures – Jacqueline, a young woman, and Laurent, her son who was born with Down Syndrome. But the reason for their visits to her subconscious, and their meaning continue to elude her. Abandoned by her husband, Jacqueline sacrifices everything to care for her son. From the moment Laurent is born she promises herself to give him a “normal” life full of happiness. For years she fulfills that promise, watching over his every waking moment. But one day at school Laurent befriends Véronique, another Down Syndrome child, forever changing things between him and his mother. Carole, meanwhile, is still attempting to unravel the mystery of Jacqueline and Laurent. She sees them not only in her dreams but in her waking life too. Tormented by hallucinations, she uses medication and illicit drugs to help suppress them before turning for help of a spiritual guide. Carole comes to believe Jacqueline and Laurent are previous incarnations of her and Antoine who are attempting to send her a warning. When she senses Jacqueline’s and Laurent’s story could end tragically, Carole realizes she will have to choose a different path. In that moment, she has to decide whether the agony of heartbreak is too much to bear or if she can let go of her pain and move on with her life.
Photo and poster courtesy of Alliance Vivafilm.