Parallel lives connect in Café

French-Canadian film Café de Flore, starring Vanessa Paradis and Kavin Parent, screens at the Vernon Towne Cinema on Monday.

  • Feb. 1, 2012 6:00 a.m.
French actress Vanessa Paradis plays the mother of a boy with Down syndrome in Café de Flore.

French actress Vanessa Paradis plays the mother of a boy with Down syndrome in Café de Flore.

The Vernon Film Society will bring Café de Flore to the Towne Cinema on Monday.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, one of Canada’s most compelling filmmakers (The Young Victoria, C.R.A.Z.Y), the film presents an unconventional love story in which two narratives are woven together to create a tale of emotion and destiny.

The first story, set in present-day Montreal, focuses on Antoine (Kevin Parent), a successful DJ and divorced father of two girls who is wildly infatuated with his girlfriend Rose.  However, Antoine still has strong ties to his ex-wife Carole, and it’s evident that all is not over between them.

Carole harbours a secret belief that Antoine will return to her and their eldest daughter reinforces this belief by playing their special song at every opportunity.

The second story takes place in Paris in 1969.

Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis) is the fiercely devoted mother of Laurent, a young boy with Down syndrome. With her son’s life expectancy limited to 25 years, Jacqueline devotes every spare moment to enriching and prolonging his life.   When a young girl with Down syndrome joins Laurent’s school class, their carefully controlled world begins to fall apart.

It seems initially that music is the only link between the two stories, but as Carole’s nightmares and sleepwalking intensify, we begin to sense that she is somehow connected to Jacqueline.

With its superbly paced fluidity, Café de Flore possesses an undeniable musicality; its layered, rhythmic beat mixes together two powerful tales of love and loss.

The film is rated 14A for sexually suggestive scenes and nudity. It is in French with English subtitles.

Café de Flore will be shown at the Towne  Monday at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and one week ahead at the theatre and the Bean Scene for $7.