An early middle-aged femme in the eastern Franche-Comte region of Gaul tries to get by while holding down different cleaning jobs and living out of her car in “Louise Wimmer,” the small and delicate fiction debut of scribe-helmer Cyril Mennegun. Tale is a character piece and sociopolitical slice of life in society’s margins rolled into one, with a convincingly lived-in perf from Corinne Masiero (“In the Beginning”) helping to offset the somewhat meager narrative dividends. Local January 2012 release should see further bookings from indie fests and film weeks.
“Wimmer” continues Mennegun’s interest in the lower classes after his medium-length 2005 docu “Tahar l’etudiant,” which followed the then-unknown penniless student Tahar Rahim (later the star of Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet”). Here, the exact details of the protag’s situation and past are revealed in a piecemeal manner, allowing auds to focus on character rather than story development, of which there is little — apart from the straightforward but extremely potent ending. Though Louise lives in Dardennes-worthy circumstances, pic’s technical approach is a little sunnier. A Nina Simone song Louise listens to in her car effectively suggests her indomitable spirit.