×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hometown Blue

A provincial meter maid's latent dissatisfaction surfaces after a successful high school classmate returns briefly to town in "Hometown Blue." Sweetly observed and nicely paced, bittersweet comedy has the universal touch that will make it welcome at fests and on Eurotubes. Modest but audience-tickling pic, co-written by appealing leading lady Florence Vignon, bodes well for debuting helmer Stephane Brize.

With:
Solange - Florence Vignon Mylene - Mathilde Seigner Patrick - Antoine Chappey Jean-Paul - Philippe Duquesne With: Jenny Alpha, Clotilde Mollet, Francois Gamard, Liliane Rovere.

A provincial meter maid’s latent dissatisfaction surfaces after a successful high school classmate returns briefly to town in “Hometown Blue.” Sweetly observed and nicely paced, bittersweet comedy has the universal touch that will make it welcome at fests and on Eurotubes. Modest but audience-tickling pic, co-written by appealing leading lady Florence Vignon, bodes well for debuting helmer Stephane Brize.

Since all motorists think their illegal parking tactics are justified, verbal abuse is an occupational hazard for Solange (Vignon), age 30, who patrols the streets issuing tickets. She has been married for five years to Patrick (Antoine Chappey), who preps bodies for autopsies in a hospital morgue. They’ll soon be moving into the new house they’ve built from scratch. Solange secretly practices singing to karaoke discs in front of a video camera. She has a pleasant voice but hasn’t taken any concrete steps toward a singing career.

When television weather girl Mylene (Mathilde Seigner), a ational figure whose face graces the covers of TV magazines, returns to her hometown from Paris to sign copies of her latest book, she and Solange renew their high school friendship. Mylene’s worldly persona triggers something in Solange, who suddenly rankles at the patterns her life has assumed.

Moments of genuine situational humor help pic stand out from the pack of modest Gallic comedies. Solange’s close relationship with her 88-year-old grandmother is adorably expressed via the ritual of the younger woman reading granny’s favorite recipes aloud from a cookbook — a shared pleasure that lends poignancy to a later scene. At Solange’s job, a co-worker’s campaign to get three-ply tissue for the station house restrooms manages to send up the minutiae of union activities while also functioning as a neat barometer of Solange’s take on her professional life. A choir of meter maids singing a chorale-style indictment of careless and insulting motorists at an award ceremony is a deadpan highlight.

Straightforward lensing suits the narrative, whose bittersweet tone is nicely sustained by thesps.

Popular on Variety

Hometown Blue

French

Production: An ARP release (in France) of a TS Prods./M6 Films production, with participation of Canal Plus and M6 and with support from CNC. (International sales: Flach Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Milena Poylo, Gilles Sacuto. Directed by Stephane Brize. Screenplay, Brize, Florence Vignon.

Crew: Camera (color), Jean-Claude Larrieu; editor, Anne Klotz; music, Steve Naive; art director, Valerie Saradijan; costume designer, Veronique Doerr; sound (DTS stereo), Frederic de Ravignan, Franco Piscopo. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival, (Directors Fortnight), May 18, 1999. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: Solange - Florence Vignon Mylene - Mathilde Seigner Patrick - Antoine Chappey Jean-Paul - Philippe Duquesne With: Jenny Alpha, Clotilde Mollet, Francois Gamard, Liliane Rovere.

More Film

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content