PG, mature themes.
Dir: Caroline Vignal, France/Belgium, 2020, 97 min.
Laure Calamy, Benjamin Lavernhe, Olivia Côte. In French with English Subtitles.
César Award Winner, Best Actress.
“Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s memoir Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes, this delightful French comedy boasts sparkling work from Laure Calamy (Call My Agent!’).She is the film’s lovestruck and hapless protagonist, Antoinette, whose romantic folly becomes the talk of the Cévennes when she rashly pursues her lover Vladimir and his family on a trekking holiday… But when she arrives at the first inn of the journey, Vladimir and his family are nowhere to be seen. Instead, she explains to the assembled guests the reason for her trip, creating quite a stir. Antoinette is also the only one of them who has opted to travel with a donkey; when she’s assigned Patrick, a truly stubborn mule, she quickly realises why, and the pair lag pathetically behind on each leg of the journey, leaving Antoinette at first fuming at Patrick, though later he becomes her confidant. Writer-director Caroline Vignal does a lovely job of balancing the farce and the utter beguilingness of the surroundings, and humanising her emotionally vulnerable lead, who’s clearly in for quite the confrontation. It’s a sunny, non-judgemental, ultimately spirit-lifting tale, and Calamy’s animated turn is stupendously entertaining, as Antoinette wears her heart embarrassingly on her sleeve and falls hook, line and sinker for a donkey.” – Emma Simmonds, List Film