Populaire Poster
By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Régis Roinsard
Starring: Romain Duris, Déborah François, Bérénice Béjo, Shaun Benson, Mélanie Bernier, Nicolas Bedos, Féodor Atkine, Miou-Miou, Eddy Mitchell, Frédéric Pierrot, Marius Coluci, Emeline Bayart, Yannik Landrein, Nastassja Girard, Caroline Tillette, Jeanne Cohendy, Dominique Reymond, Serpentine Teyssier
MPAA Rating: R (for a scene of sexuality)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 111 Min.
    The year is 1958.  Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François) is a small town girl, the daughter of the local general store owner.  She has taken the huge step to get her dream job, secretary.  Her strength is an amazing typing speed which balances out her complete lack of any other secretarial talent.
    At the first job interview, Rose sits in a room filled with other applicants, listening to them discuss what it will take to win the job.  She is scared but bravely troops into the office of Louis Échard (Romain Duris), the owner of the local insurance agency.  The interview is a nightmare.  Louis dismisses her.  She tries to tell him of her strong point, her skill at typing.  He doesn’t listen and walks to the door to select the next applicant to interview.  Determined to get the job, Rose takes a letter sitting on the desk and types up an exact copy.
    Lucky for Rose, Louis has a immense desire to compete and win.  He doesn’t care what the competition is.  In this case, Louis sees Rose as being a contender for the fastest typist in the world.  He hires her as a secretary but shortly is forced to change the arrangement to be one where he is the trainer and she the trainee.
    What happens next reminds me a little of Rocky.  Watching Rose run the roads in the French countryside and slowly learn ten finger typing and then piano was surprisingly entertaining.  The look of the film from the soundtrack and dialogue to the costumes and scenery reminds me of the best of the Audrey Hepburn films from the late fifties and early sixties.
    Even if you aren’t the type who normally likes sub-titled films, this is a wonderful film to see and experience.  It has a great chance to win an academy award for best foreign language film if it gets nominated.  I will definitely be placing it on my ten best list for the year.
Movie Site: http://weinsteinco.com/sites/populaire/
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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