(FRA - 2007)
Directed by Christophe Honoré and starring Louis Garrel (Ismäel), Ludivine Sagnier (Julie), Clothilde Hesme (Alice), Gregóire Leprince-Ringuet (Erwann) and Chiara Mastroianni (Jeanne), this film is a combination of drama, romance and musical. It won Cabourg Romantic Festival 2007 (Category: Best Director), César Awards 2007 (Best Music Written for a Film: Alex Beaupain), Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2007 (Special Jury Award) and Etóile d'Our 2008 (Best Composer: Alex Beaupain). It was also nominated to other three César Awards in 2007 (Best Sound: Guillaume Le Bras, Valérie Deloof, Agnes Ravez, Thierry Delor; Most Promising Actor: Gregóire Leprince-Ringuet; Most Promising Actress: Clothilde Hesme) and to the Golden Trailer Award 2008 (Best Foreign Romance Trailer).
Les Chansons d'Amour is divided into three parts (The Departure, The Absence and The Return) and tells the story of three lovers - Ismäel, Julie and Alice - who occasionally share a flat in Paris and suffer of constant jealousy crisis. Ismäel can't handle the fact that Alice and Julie can perfectly have a loving night without him; Julie is always wondering if he really loves her and Alice, known in the trial for her "non-sex" practises, is the bridge between both (as it's sung in the song Je n'Aime que Toi).
Everything that happens in the film results in a consequence, that in turn results in other consequence and then sucessively. Once they get separated (because of the "departure" named in the first part), Alice meets a guy (Gwendal). In the second part, Ismäel is introduced to Gwendal's brother, Erwann. And then I'll let your imagination try to figure out what happens next... All I can tell is that the "departured" person returns in part three and takes part in one of my favourite song scenes: Pourquoi viens-tu si tard.
By the way, it's came the time to talk about the soundtrack - a very important part of the film. All the cast sings at least once and the songs are deeply connected to their feelings at the moment. As said before, Alex Beaupain won a César and an Etóile d'Our awards for his compositions. The interpretation of the actors is just fine and the songs are always in my media playlist! My favourite tracks are De Bonnes Raisons, Inventaire, Je n'Aime que Toi, Pourquoi viens-tu si tard, La Distance, Ma Memóire Sale and J'ai Cru Entendre.
If you enjoy contemporan and unpretentious romances with a bit of drama and sweet songs, you're gonna love this one!