Xavier Giannoli (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Director Xavier Giannoli's thoughtful treatise on talent, class, sycophancy and truth evidently takes its cues from the life of discordant American soprano Florence Foster Jenkins (portrayed by Meryl Streep in the eponymous 2016 biopic). Set in Paris in 1921, the story centres on French aristocrat Marguerite Dumont (Catherine Frot), whose patronage is so crucial to a musical society that its members indulge her delusion she is a gifted diva. Her errant husband Georges (André Marcon) avoids her recitals, but their butler (Denis Mpunga) is so intent on protecting his mistress that he sends bouquets after each performance and lovingly photographs the lady in her operatic costumes. Lavishly staged by Giannoli, this begins beguilingly before heading for melodrama in the final act. A subplot involving an aspiring young singer (Christa Théret) never quite slots into place, either. But Frot is superb as the oblivious chanteuse, with her touchingly excruciating warbling hiding a pain that cannot be staunched after she discovers her husband's shortcomings.


A wealthy woman in 1920s Paris is a terrible singer, a fact her family strives to prevent her from realising. She gives performances to a small circle of invited audiences, maintaining her delusions of talent - but the situation becomes far more complicated when she decides to perform to the public in an opera house. Period drama, starring Catherine Frot and Andre Marcon. In French, Italian and English.

Cast & Crew

Marguerite Dumont Catherine Frot
Georges Dumont André Marcon
Atos Pezzini Michel Fau
Madelbos Denis Mpunga
Hazel Christa Theret
Lucien Sylvain Dieuaide
Kyril Aubert Fenoy
Director Xavier Giannoli
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: PicturehouseGuidance: Sex scenes, nudityReleased on: 18 Mar 2016