This film is one of my most favorite go-to’s when I’m in the mood for strong minded women with a cause… and Cécile de France falling in love with Izïa Higelin…
The movie begins with young Delphine (Izïa Higelin), who lives on a farm with her parents in France, in the early 1970’s. She is close with her family, and dedicated to her life on the farm, but she secretly has relationships with other girls while avoiding her parent’s pushes toward marriage, and a boy who is interested in her.
When a girl she is seeing ends their relationship for marriage, Delphine heads to Paris, where she awakens to her independence from farm life. One day as she is walking along the sidewalk, a group of young women’s rights activists run past, pinching men on the butts in protest of they way women are treated as objects. One man, not liking having the tables turned, grabs Carole (Cécile de France) by the arm. Delphine rescues her then joins the group of women as they escape onto the city bus.
Delphine becomes part of the women’s group and finds herself attracted to Carole, who is in a loving relationship with her boyfriend.
When the group frees a male friend who was sent to a mental hospital for being gay, Delphine and Carole share a bed in a country home, where the women and escapee stay for the night. Delphine tries to kiss Carole, but after being rejected, asks reluctant Carole to leave her bed.
Back in Paris, Delphine confronts Carole, insisting to show her how she feels…how they both feel.
Funfact: Izïa Higelin also happens to be a rock singer and guitarist.
This movie is currently being shown on Strand Releasing and can also be rented from Amazon.
French with subtitles
SPOILER ALERT – STAY BEHIND THIS LINE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW THIS MOVIE ENDS 🙂
Just as the two fall in love, Delphine must return to the family farm after her father suffers from a stroke, where she is willing to do anything to keep it running. Carole, who turned her whole world upside down to be with Delphine is not ready to lose her so quickly and joins her in the country – an environment she is not accustomed to. Delphine works hard to overcome the hurdles of the farm while not so successfully hiding her relationship with Carole.
The hardest part, for me, was seeing Carole bring moments of laughter and dancing back to Delphine’s mother who had been suffering silently over the illness of her husband, only to be harshly rejected by her later when she discovers the nature of their relationship.
Both Carole and Delphine return to the worlds they came from before meeting, and possibly are destined to live.
Approximately five years later, Carole, now a healthcare worker, receives a letter from Delphine, explaining that she is no longer living on the farm and bought a house in the south of France. She states she wishes she had left with Carole when she returned to Paris…but it is impossible to turn back time.
I like to think, by the look on Carole’s face, that she met with her somewhere and their lives continued on together, but it is easy to assume the director is showing us that life goes on and everyone must move forward/not look back.
My thoughts: I have been a huge fan of Cécile de France for years and truly enjoyed her role here. The movie definitely did well telling the story of Delphine and Carole during 1971 at an age where huge life changes take place not to mention women’s rights movements are exploding . It was definitely a realistic story about love, parents finding out you aren’t straight, telling the man you live with that you’ve fallen for a woman, and that life doesn’t always go the way we hoped. Not to mention, the ever so present struggle for women to be taken seriously when it comes to business decisions. I am not a huge fan of endings of love stories that force us to answer the big “did they get back together?” ourselves, but nonetheless I enjoyed every bit of La Belle Saison and hope you will too!