Special Cinema Spotlight: Populaire

I have just seen the French romantic comedy Populaire and couldn't help but want to share my thoughts of it with you. What a sweet and captivating film! I was instantly hooked and needed to know what happens to the main characters of Rose and Louis and that is always what I hope a movie will do for me. This one did and it did not disappoint!

Set in 1958 and 1959, we follow a young girl named Rose Pamphyle (Deborah Francois) who comes from a small town in France. She lives with her widowed father who doesn't seem to understand her. One night in the shop her father owns she takes the typewriter and her loved for typing begins by typing her name. Rose is yearning for a modern life and by modern in those days we mean working in a bigger town or city as a secretary.

At that point in our history for a women to get a job as a secretary was a huge deal. She was working and earning her own pay and living away from her family. Typically a woman would marry and her house and family would be her daily work. So this was something huge and very different that Rose wanted.

She eventually gets a job with an insurance company run by Louis Echard (Romain Duris) and although he thinks she is a horrible secretary he sees how fast she types (at that point with just two fingers) and he is memorized. He also sees competitive potential for Rose and asks her if he can train her and if she could enter typing competitions.

Rose's response, "If I do, does that mean I get to keep my job?" She thought nothing of it. She just wants to live that modern girl life and she does! She also learns piano by Louis's lifelong friend (and past love interest) and wife of his other friend Bob (an American former WWII solider) named Marie played by the always superb Berenice Bejo (she was Peppy Miller in "The Artist").

As Rose participates in the competitions she learns more about Louis and his friend Marie and Bob. The way all the characters act and react to things is so typical of that era that it just made the film more authentic and realistic. I love it! Also, the costumes in this film are spot on and basically I want to wear everything Rose gets to wear. Talk about dreamy skirts and dresses!

Does Rose become the modern girl she dreamed of being? Does she reconcile with her father? Does Louis learn something about love? And the bigger question is, does Rose become a world typewriting champion?

The film is well rounded in every way-characters, plot, costumes, etc. In particular, I adored the characters of Rose and Marie. The women in this film are strong, wise, and witty. I think anyone can appreciate their characters and how they deal with the cards of life they are dealt with.

The film is a gem! This is a must watch and one that you will enjoy through and through.

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  1. I saw Populaire when it was on at the cinema and then bought the DVD as soon as it came out! Such a sweet movie, might have to watch it again today :)

  2. Lovely review, sweet Daffny! I want to see this movie sooo badly!!! It's been a popular one in our blogging sphere and all the stills from it have set my 50s fashion loving heart atwitter! Soon, I hope, very soon! :)

    ♥ Jessica

  3. I agree, this is a fantastic movie! I loved it and may need to watch it again =)

  4. Thank you everyone-its really a lovely film!!! xox

    1. https://feminema.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/populaire_header.jpg
      Any ideas on what type of sweater Louis is wearing in this scene so I can find a similar one?

      Thank you, Brendan


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