Suite Française shows the civilian casualties of war, taking attention far from the frontline to an untroubled countryside.
Williams and Schoenaerts display a compelling chemistry in their doubly forbidden affair; their fluctuating emotions and collaboration form the story’s core, all to the bittersweet melody of a shared piano. Their supporting cast offer equally powerful performances, fleshing out the twisted and uncompromising human carnage wreaked by war.
Whispers and gossip crack the pressured society, the tension boiling over into a single act of violence. The German backlash is swift and ferocious, leading to a thrilling climax for an often sedate film.
Filled to burst with talented performances, Suite Française is an uncomplicated film showing the complications of war without hindsight’s prejudice. Not a classic, though a welcome addition to the genre.
CAST: Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ruth Wilson, Sam Riley, Margot Robbie
DIRECTOR: Saul Dibb
WRITERS: Matt Charman, Saul Dibb (screenplay), Irène Némirovsky (novel)
SYNOPSIS: During the early years of German occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier, a French villager, and Bruno von Falk, a German soldier.