Let's Talk About the Rain (Parlez-moi de la pluie)
In an interview to promote their 2004 feature Look at Me, the French actors/filmmakers Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri felt that they couldn't pitch their films at Hollywood meetings, and their latest collaboration Let's Talk About the Rain again defies high-concept classification. Feminist writer Agathe (Jaoui) returns to her childhood home in the south of France, partly to announce her political candidacy at an electoral rally and partly to help her married sister Florence (Pascale Arbillot) sort through their late mother's affairs. The family housekeeper's son Karim (Jamel Debbouze) and his director pal Michel (Jean-Pierre Bacri) want to make a documentary about Agathe: however their amateurish filming is affected by romantic complications.
Taking its title from the lyrics of a George Brassens song, this romantic roundelay contains the familiar Jaoui/Bacri ingredients - episodic, low-key storytelling, droll dialogue, and a preference for medium over close-up shots, engagingly naturalistic performances. Linking these characters is their shared perception that they are victims, whether it's of racism, sexism, or parental favouritism. There are amusing encounters here, such as Agathe, Michel, and Karim being forced to shelter with a pair of bolshy farmers during a rainstorm, and Jaoui and Bacri remain generously tolerant of the foibles and imperfections of their creations, but somehow Let's Talk About The Rain is less emotionally affecting than their previous collaborations.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 7 Nov. GFT, Glasgow from Fri 5 Dec.