3.5 out of 5 stars (In-Flight movie #7)

A rich socialite in the 1920s who wants to be an opera singer but doesn’t have the talent to do so, while the people around her just don’t seem to have the heart or the courage to tell her the truth – on paper, this could be cringingly unfunny but surprisingly the film turns out to be both likeable and delightfully entertaining. Xavier Giannoli’s clever script and crisp directing refuse to take the easy route to make fun of her and condescend its audience and the story it is telling while the delicate and nuanced portrayal of Marguerite by Catherine Frot is touching yet unsentimental, and does it in such a way that you cannot but feel for her and her love for the art – even while she is murdering it by her singing. Add to that a blunt ending that makes perfect sense in retrospect, Round 1 here goes to the French, now let’s see whether the English version (with Meryl Streep no less) can match or even beat it.


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