Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Written and Directed by Albert Dupontel
From the novel by Pierre Lemaitre
Alliance Franḉaise French Film Festival
Palace Cinemas from 1 March to 28 March

Preview Review by Len Power 8 February 2018

If the rest of the movies to be shown at the Alliance Franḉaise French Film Festival, which will screen at the Palace Cinemas from the 1st to the 28th of March, are as good as the movie they previewed for us, it will be a very impressive festival indeed.

‘See You Up There’ (Au Revoir La-Haut) is a 2017 production written and directed by Albert Dupontel who also stars in it.  Based on the novel ‘The Great Swindle’ by Pierre Lemaitre, it tells the story of a man hideously disfigured in one of the final battles of World War 1 in France who, together with his army buddy from the war, concocts a swindle involving the building of war memorials.

The swindle crosses the lives of his family who had been told he had died in the war.  The cat and mouse investigation that results makes this an involving and exciting thriller with highly emotional overtones.

It’s one of those films where we find ourselves on the side of the criminals, breathlessly hoping they won’t get caught even though the fraud they are undertaking is quite despicable.

This period film is dazzling with great cinematography, sharp editing and a stunning production design that brings post-World War 1 Paris to life.  The battle scenes at the start of the film are extraordinary and alarming.  Performances by the cast are uniformly excellent and there is memorable music by Christophe Julien.

The production has been nominated for 13 French Cesar awards in just about every category possible including Best Film.  Winners will be announced on March 2 during the run of the French Film Festival here.  I don’t know the other films in competition for the Cesars but ‘See You Up There’ will be a hard film to beat.

Philippe Platel, the Festival Artistic Director, advises that “the 50-film line-up is sprinkled with humour, ‘a la Franḉaise’, as well as compelling and multi-award winning films.  Courage, generosity, equality and team spirit are all strong recurring themes that show the unyielding spirit of unity in France today.”

The Palace Cinema has booklets giving details of all the films in the festival.  You can buy multi-film passes at a discount, too.  Looking through the list of films to be shown, there are a huge number that appeal to me and you’ll probably feel the same.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7’s ‘On Stage’ program on Mondays from 3.30pm and on ‘Artcetera’ from 9.00am on Saturdays.