What a rollicking, visually rich and fast-paced piece of brilliantly sustained fun is this film from French writer-director Nicolas Bedos, a name I had not previously encountered but will definitely look for in future. I saw it as part of the Alliance French Film Festival in early March, but it’s playing in Australian cinemas now.

La Belle Epoque La Belle Époque

The first thing that needs explaining is that La Belle Époquehas nothing to do with the late 19th and early 20th century era to which it commonly applies, but rather to the central theme about people recreating the period that means the most to them.
This is a world where people can live out their fantasies by hiring the services of a theatrical company that recreates the historical time and place of choice using the skills of actors and set designers.

Unhappy veteran cartoonist Victor (a typically magisterial Daniel Auteuil) has reached the bottom in his long-time marriage to Fanny Ardant’s now haughtily dismissive Marianne. Desperately wanting to recapture the glory of his lost youth and love,...