Paper Souls

Paper Souls

Vincent Lannoo (2013)

12 Certificate


Our Score
A wisp of Woody Allen pervades director Vincent Lannoo's supernatural romantic comedy, which takes place over the Christmas period, but touches in passing on everything from the Holocaust to post-colonialism. Plagued by writer's block since his wife's death five years earlier, novelist Paul (Stéphane Guillon) now makes a living composing funeral orations. However, he has misgivings when Parisian bookshop owner Emma (Julie Gayet) asks him to commemorate her long-dead photojournalist husband Nathan on her son's eighth birthday. The growing bond between Paul and the boy is deftly achieved and convinces much more than the love story. But Lannoo and screenwriter François Uzan struggle to integrate the bemused Nathan's ghostly reappearance, as well as a subplot about a search by Paul's neighbour (Pierre Richard) for a memento of the brother he lost during the war. Véronique Sacrez's sets are atmospherically cluttered and the performances are admirably restrained. But, for all its melancholy charm, this never delves deeply enough into issues like loss, loneliness, memory and healing before tying up the loose ends a tad too neatly.


When a woman's husband dies, she hopes to gain closure for herself and her son by making a speech at the funeral. She falls for the writer employed to pen it - but their blossoming romance looks set to be ruined by the appearance of the dead man's ghost. French fantasy comedy, starring Stephane Guillon, Julie Gayet and Jonathan Zaccai.

Cast & Crew

Paul Stéphane Guillon
Emma Julie Gayet
Nathan Jonathan Zaccaï
Victor Pierre Richard
Adam Jules Rotenberg
Hortense Claudine Baschet
Director Vincent Lannoo
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Swipe FilmsGuidance: Swearing.Released on: 16 Jan 2015
Drama Comedy