Perth Film Society's 2020 series continues with 'The Midwife' on Thursday 6th February at perth Theatre. A midwife gets unexpected news from her father's old mistress. Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot excel as contrasting women with an account to settle in a tale that combines realism and melodrama, from director Martin Provost.
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Cert 12A; 91 min; French with subtitles | £6; seniors/unwaged/students £5
“The Midwife” (Sage Femme) is a 2017 drama directed by Martin Provost and starring two great French Catherines - Deneuve and Frot - in their first shared screen appearance. Sparkling with humour, tenderness and mischievous charm, Provost’s film provides a perfect canvas for its tour-de-force lead performances.
Claire (Frot) is a calm, unflappable and conscientious 40 something midwife. After years of giving her patients selfless care and support, her hospital is about to close its doors. She is determined not to work in the new modern replacement hospital, which she regards as nothing more than a baby factory but doesn’t know what to do for the future to avoid this.
Sparkling with humour, tenderness and mischievous charm...
Claire is also single, introverted, and seemingly stuck in a rut. Into this life of self-denial and uncertainty bursts Béatrice (Deneuve), her dead father's former mistress. The women could not be more opposite - Béatrice has never seen the point of denying herself pleasure. She is an eccentric, spendthrift, sensual, amoral woman who eats steak lasciviously, smokes and slurps her way through a good bottle of Graves, while Claire, a teetotal vegetarian, toys languidly with a green salad.
However, Beatrice is suffering from a terminal disease and only has Claire to turn to for care when her condition worsens. Claire though is torn between her deep feelings of rejection from when Béatrice walked out more than 30 years ago and her sense of duty. What will she do?
A bold and buoyant two-hander, “The Midwife” is a bewitching and unapologetic celebration of life’s loves, losses and endless fresh surprises. Deneuve may have the showier and blousier role, but it is a treat to watch Frot convey anger, disappointment, and bemusement in a single muted reaction.
The story offers plenty of wisdom about living in the moment and enjoying life.
The two have palpable chemistry and the screen brightens whenever they take centre stage. Meantime the story, which is essentially about old acquaintances and new beginnings, offers plenty of wisdom about living in the moment and enjoying life.
Catherine Deneuve deservedly won Best Actress in 2017 for her portrayal of Béatrice at the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival.
View the Screening's Event listing for further information & tickets.
You can learn more about Perth Film Society in this Small City article.
View the trailer for "The Midwife" below:
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