Based on the posthumously best-selling book by Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Française is set during the Nazi occupation of France.

Beginning in 1940 the war hasn't yet reached the small French town of Bussy and it's in this town where Lucile Angelliers (Michelle Williams) is forced to stay with her domineering mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kirsten Scott Thomas). Lucile’s husband, a wealthy landowner, like all the other young men in the village, has went off to fight in the war leaving Lucile with only her mother-in-law for company. Luciles marriage was never a happy one and would appear to have been arranged by Lucile's dying father.

It's not long before the war reaches Bussy and Madame Angellier finds that against her will a handsome high-ranking German Officer, Lt. Bruno Von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), is billeted to her home. Unfortunately her hatred for the Nazis isn't shared by Lucile who is attracted to Bruno after she finds that he's not the normal Nazi soldier, Bruno is a sensitive sole who is more at home writing piano music than enforcing the Nazi rules.

It's against the backdrop of Nazi occupation that characters each react in their own way, some tread a fine line between collaboration and resistance whilst some offer outright defiance.

Suite Française is a BBC production and at times it's moderate budget does make it feel like a Sunday afternoon TV romantic melodrama, however whilst it might not have a cinematic sweep what it does have is a great story with some great performances, particularly from Williams and Schoenaerts.

If you're into Sunday afternoon Mills and Boon drama then this could be up your street.




Suite Française (15)

Director: Saul Dibb
Starring: Margot Robbie, Ruth Wilson, Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts


UK Release: Friday 13th March 2015