In the Courtyard
Catherine Deneuve (Dancer in the Dark, Repulsion) stars in this French tragicomedy that examines multiple lives of Paris tenement residents. From writer-director Pierre Salvadori, following up 2010’s Beautiful Lies.
“The courtyard of a Parisian tenement building and its endearing, quirky inhabitants with their fears and desires are at the centre of this zany tragicomedy. We meet the tenants through the eyes of Antoine, the new concierge. Among them are a drug-dealing bicycle thief who fills the yard with his bikes and a tenant with an obsessive-compulsive disorder who insists on keeping everything clean and tidy. Mathilde lives with her husband on the top floor; she has just retired and is trying to re-arrange her daily routine. Antonie sees a soul mate in this insecure individual, for his life has also been undergoing a sea change ever since this 40-year-old musician left the stage without a word mid-concert.
“The Courtyard has become a refuge which he only leaves for moments such as when he steals rosebushes from the park to make his retreat greener. When Mathilde notices a crack in her apartment wall one day, she’s convinced the building is going to collapse. Under Pierre Salvadori’s empathetic direction this crack becomes a metaphor for the fault line which runs through life. Finally, repressed emotions such as loneliness and fear of the future are allowed to surface…” (Berlin International Film Festival)