La Belle Époque (film)

La Belle Époque is a 2019 French romantic comedy-drama film that was written and directed by Nicolas Bedos.[2]

La Belle Époque
La Belle Epoque poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNicolas Bedos
Written byNicolas Bedos
Produced by
  • François Kraus
  • Denis Pineau-Valencienne
CinematographyNicolas Bolduc
Edited byAnny Danché
Music by
  • Nicolas Bedos
  • Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen
Distributed byPathé Distribution
Release date
  • 20 May 2019 (2019-05-20) (Cannes)
  • 6 November 2019 (2019-11-06) (France)
Running time
115 minutes
Box office$13,907,564[1]

The film stars Daniel Auteuil as Victor, a man in his 60s whose long marriage to Marianne (Fanny Ardant) is on the rocks. When Victor meets Antoine (Guillaume Canet), the owner of a company which allows people to perform a version of "time travel" by visiting a stage where the company acts out a staged historical reenactment, he takes the opportunity to revisit the moment when he first met Marianne, in hopes of rekindling his love for her.

The film premiered out of competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.[3]


An unemployed cartoonist and illustrator, Victor, is in his sixties and disillusioned. His marriage to Marianne is in trouble, and he is disinterested and overwhelmed by the modern world, and what he sees as faddish technological advances. To cheer him up, his son Maxime buys him a voucher to spend an evening run by a company that stages historical reenactments as a form of "time travel". This company offers its customers an opportunity to relive the era of their choice, mixing theatrical devices and historical reconstruction. Some wealthy clients choose to spend an evening with William Faulkner, Adolf Hitler, or with aristocrats in the 17th Century. At first dismissive, after Marianne throws him out of their apartment, Victor reluctantly approaches the company. He chooses to revisit the most significant week of his life, the one where he met great love, forty years earlier, May 16, 1974, in the La Belle Époque café in Lyon. Through re-staging this event, the owner of the company, Antoine, and his turbulent affair with Margot, the actor he casts as Marianne, is introduced. Antoine, a former screenwriter, is very fastidious and overbearing, but holds an appreciation for Victor from a kindness he did for him as a teenager. Little by little, Victor becomes lost in these "reconstituted" memories, Margot and Antoine's relationship breaks down further, and Marianne slowly comes to regret her decision. The characters, in their couples, reconcile over their need to connect to the authentic, over the nostalgic.



On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 88% based on reviews from 16 critics, with an average rating of 7.7/10.[9] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 75 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10]

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote: "Where so many high-concept romantic comedies squander their one big idea, "La Belle Époque" leverages its own to remind how and why we fall in love in the first place..." and Debruge praise the writing, saying it has "a script that's as ambitiously imagined as a Charlie Kaufman movie."[11] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review calling it a "witty, sexy and original romantic comedy that touches many points of satisfaction."[12]


  1. ^ a b "La belle époque (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  2. ^ Allan Hunter, "'La Belle Epoque': Cannes Review". Screen Daily, 21 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Cannes festival 2019: full list of films". The Guardian. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  4. ^ Sheehan, Peter W. (13 August 2020). "2020 Film Reviews: La Belle Epoque". Catholic Church in Australia. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Jeanne Arènes dans La Belle Epoque". Cours Peyran Lacroix (in French). 19 November 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  6. ^ "La Belle Époque Press Kit" (PDF). UniFrance. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  7. ^ a b c McDonald, John (22 August 2020). "La Belle Epoque brings a desire to recapture the past". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  8. ^ "La Belle Epoque (2019)". UniFrance. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  9. ^ "La Belle Époque (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  10. ^ "La Belle Époque Reviews". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  11. ^ Debruge, Peter (3 June 2019). "Film Review: 'La Belle Époque'". Variety.
  12. ^ Todd McCarthy (22 May 2019). "'La Belle Epoque': Film Review | Cannes 2019". The Hollywood Reporter.

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