This year’s film festival at Film Society of Lincoln Center exemplifies the variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking. The films on display, by emerging talents and established masters, raise ideas both topical and eternal, and many take audiences to entirely unexpected places. And if your French is as rusty as mine, there will be English subtitles. Here’re the 10 premieres that you definitely shouldn’t miss.

1. The Trouble with You

After learning that her late husband’s golden reputation is totally fabricated, a police investigator (Adèle Haenel) makes unconventional amends in the latest comic whirlwind from Pierre Salvadori. Screens with the short Les Indes galantes.

2018, France
Directed by Pierre Salvadori
108 minutes
Showtimes: February 28 6:30 PM and 9:00 PM

2. Girls Of The Sun

An unshakable Golshifteh Farahani holds the center of Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sunas the commander of an all-female unit of resistance fighters in Iraqi Kurdistan, whose resolve catches the attention of a French war journalist (Emmanuelle Bercot).

2018, France/Belgium/Georgia/Switzerland
Directed by Eva Husson
111 minutes
Showtimes: March 1 at 1:30 PM and March 3 at 8:30 PM

3. In Safe Hands

Jeanne Henry crafts a story stemming from a delicate two-and-a-half-month state of limbo for a newborn child, Théo, who becomes a ward of the state after his mother gives him up for adoption at birth.

2018, France/Belgium
Directed by Jeanne Henry
109 minutes
Showtimes: March 4 at 6:15 PM

4. Invisibles

With pathos and institutional nuance, Louis-Julien Petit’s third social-realist drama transforms its source nonfiction text by Claire Lajeunie into a spirited ensemble piece about a daytime shelter for homeless women.

2018, France
Directed by Louis-Julien Petit
102 minutes
Showtimes: March 7 at 6:15 PM and March 8 at 1:30 PM

5. Keep an Eye Out

The ever-unpredictable Quentin Dupieux sets this intimately scaled bottle narrative in the basement of a police station, where an endless interrogation session twists into something more off-kilter.

2018, France
Directed by Quentin Dupieux
73 minutes
Showtimes: March 5 at 8:15 PM and March 10 at 7:45 PM

6. Maya

A war journalist (Roman Kolinka, Things to Come) copes with trauma by decamping to India, where he spent his childhood. As he strikes up a rapport with his godfather’s daughter (Aarshi Banerjee), Mia Hansen-Løve thoughtfully probes the private intricacies of rehabilitation.

2018, France/Germany
Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
107 minutes
Showtimes: March 6 at 6:00 PM and March 7 at 2:00 PM

7. Raising Colors

Actress Hélène Fillières’s second feature-film outing as a director, set at a training facility for the French Navy, captures a palpable electricity within one female trainee’s search for self.

2018, France 
Directed by Hélène Fillières
100 minutes
Showtimes: March 1 at 4:00 PM and March 3 at 5:45 PM

8. Sophia Antipolis

Virgil Vernier’s richly textured sophomore feature takes stock of the state of the French socioeconomic order as embodied by the eponymous, dystopian business park and an eclectic ensemble of cult members, militiamen, and more.

2018, France 
Directed by Virgil Vernier
98 minutes
Showtimes: March 5 at 4:00 PM and March 10 at 5:30 PM

9. The Summer House

Playing a filmmaker whose family is coping with loss during an annual summer vacation, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (A Castle in Italy) invites autobiographical readings in her new feature while also complicating the idea of art as personal exorcism.

2018, France/Italy
Directed by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
122 minutes
Showtimes: March 5 at 1:30 PM and March 8 at 6:00 PM

10. When Margaux meets Margaux

This charming and lightly fantastical tale from Sophie Fillières (If You Don’t, I Will, Rendez-Vous 2014) stages a chance meeting between an impulsive but aimless twentysomething and a disenchanted fortysomething who just might be the same person.

2018, France 
Directed by Sophie Fillières
97 minutes
Showtimes: March 1 at 6:15 PM and March 6 at 8:45 PM

Festival info

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema
February 28—March 10 2019
Film Society at Lincoln Center
Walter Reade Theater, 70 Lincoln Center Pl. (View map)
Tickets $17 per screening

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