This film has two stories that, though resolved in the end, should have been separated into two different films. The first film is about a working-class woman who commits her whole life to raising a son with Down syndrome. The boy's father did not want to make such a sacrifice and left the marriage. The boy's mother, Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis—you'll find it impossible not to fall in love with the gap between her teeth), has the will and love to make sure he gets everything he needs and is accepted in normal society. This film, which is set in Paris in 1969, has some of the best cinematography, lighting, editing, wardrobe, and art direction you'll see on the screen this year.
The other movie, which is set in 2011 and is the better movie of the two, is about a club DJ named Antoine (Kevin Parent) who is famous (like DJ Sasha or John Digweed), flies around world, plays to cheering crowds, and is at the top of his game. The movie, however, spends almost no time on the DJ's glamorous career but instead focuses on his family life. This part of the film opens with Antoine, his beautiful and shapely wife (Evelyne Brochu), and his charming daughters hanging around a swimming pool in the backyard in a leafy neighborhood in Montreal. At 40, he is living the perfect life. Everyone around him seems to be happy and living the perfect life with him. But we eventually realize that his beautiful wife is really his girlfriend and that he recently separated from the mother (Hélène Florent) of his daughters. We also learn that Antoine's father is upset that he dumped the mother of his granddaughters for another and younger (but not by that much) woman. In short, the famous DJ is going through life.
Again, Café de Flore is two great films that should not be joined, two films that could easily and perfectly stand on their own. Lastly, Café de Flore might be the first worthy work of cinema about a house/club DJ. SIFF Cinema Uptown, Nov 23–29.