RKS Film: “Madeleine Collins”: Back to My Roots Mon! Demain Le Fin De Monde!

I owe a debt to Demain Le Fin De Monde! Growing up in Montreal as an anglophone I watched French television which meant nifty French cinema on late Friday and Saturday nights. Hollywood was banal while French cinema was compelling because unlike Hollywood trash it was more complicated and almost always tinged with a bit of absurdity and a compulsory sex scene! I loved “Demain Le Fin de Monde” a 70’s French film about a worker in a French cookie factory who slipped handwritten messages in cookie boxes saying “Demain Le Fin de Monde”. There was a series of reactions of those opening the cookie boxes that were priceless. Thanks to these French films I see a Hollywood film once every five years. Last one was “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”.

With “Madeleine Collins” I am going back to my roots mon! Nothing is easy in this film and I must be careful in describing it lest I ruin your film experience.

Judith or Margot (Virginie Efira) is a 40’ish woman leading a double life of a mother in Switzerland with a young daughter Ninon and partner Abdel (Quim Gutiérrez) and a husband Melvil (Bruno Salomone) with two older boys in France in an upper class bourgeoise bubble.

She is perhaps a classic bigamist which is the easy answer. Sorry I can’t answer that. But let’s say she has to juggle two identities. Melvil and Abdel have some idea about what is occurring so they are not blind but how much they really know about Judith/Margo is unclear for them and you the viewer.

Why not say there is a question of assumed and mistaken identities tolerated to some degree by Abdel and Melvil. Judith/Margo can’t balance the two as demands of her children (are they really her children) and she starts unravelling and unable to deal with reality.

Judith/Margot is a complicated character and by the end of the film you may conclude she is a woman incapable of an identity by circumstances out of her control.

If you are looking for a simplistic Hollywood film don’t bother with the film. If you like to be challenged and like to think Madeline Collins is the answer then the film may be for you.

Virginie Efira carries off the role with aplomb.

Directed by Antoine Barraud. A French/Swedish production.

RKS Film Rating 91/100.

This is opening in Canada on May 27 but I am sure in Europe it is in full bloom.

You can see the trailer here https://vimeo.com/657926553

Oh and what does Madeleine Collins have to do with this film. Everything. You will understand the opening scene near the conclusion of the film .Oh, check your cookie package before watching the film.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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