Director: Agnès Jaoui
Agnès Jaoui’s sophomore film, also co-written by and starring both she and husband Jean-Pierre Bacri earned the Best Screenplay award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Tackling the nature of celebrity and the questionable power that goes with it, the film centers on Bacri, portraying an egocentric, unlikable writer. Throughout the film, Bacri ignores his overweight daughter, Lolita, wonderfully played by Marilou Berry, in favor of his young beautiful wife (whom he torments and belittles) and their five-year-old daughter. Lolita finds acceptance and encouragement in her music teacher, played by Jaoui, whom at first is pleasant but indifferent to the talented girl but finds herself bending over backwards after realizing that one of her literary idols is Lolita’s father. To complicate matters, Jaoui’s long-time boyfriend is a fledgling novelist on the cusp of fame, and her connection to Lolita and her powerful dad evolves and grows richly complex as viewers are faced with the beast of idolatry, flattery and celebrity while seeing the similarities and differences between embittered Bacri and the up and coming new generation writer. Priorities change, truths are revealed and relationships tested and never once does Jaoui take a shortcut—the film is subtle, mature, and witty and plays even better the second time around.