Justine Triet’s La Bataille de Solférino was one of the best received French films of 2013, and was seen by many as the movie that spearheaded a wave of Jeune cinéma, a block of works by young filmmakers that signalled a shift in philosophy and attitude in contemporary French cinema, that was heralded in publications such as Cahiers du Cinéma.
Unfortunately La Bataille de Solférino never saw release in the UK, but Triet’s follow-up, the excellent Victoria (aka In Bed With Victoria) has just finished a run on Mubi (bad timing, I know, I’m sorry).
Victoria is an interesting film. A subversive, unusual spin on the rom-com formula, the title refers to the film’s protagonist, a hedonistic single mother and lawyer who winds up defending a former lover in the wake of a serious allegation that occurred in bizarre circumstances. All the while the traditional tropes of such tales play out; Victoria finds love in an unlikely place and true justice is served, but it while these tropes do indeed play out, they never quite do so in the manner one might expect them to. It’s odd, and schizophrenic, and all the more affecting and impressive for it.
I’ve no idea what fate will befall Victoria. Perhaps, like La Bataille de Solférino, it will never be seen nor heard from again, but I really hope that that isn’t the case. Triet is one of the more interesting filmmakers to come out of France in recent years, and it would be great to see her work more fully appreciated.
I’ve embedded the trailer below.