17th October 2017 Cézanne et Moi (2017). Director: Danièle Thompson; Cert.15; French (English subtitles)
Set in 19th Century France, this historical drama traces the parallel lives and passionate friendship between the impressionist painter Paul Cézanne (Guillaume Gallienne) and the writer Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet). They first meet as schoolboys growing up in Aix-en-Provence. Emile is fatherless and poor; Paul is the son of a wealthy banker. When as young adults they both leave for Paris to live and work there, Emile prospers, becomes politically engaged, and embraces the life of the bourgeoisie. By contrast Paul disdains middle-class values, rejects the Paris scene, and becomes a rough and foul-mouthed bohemian. Their close friendship fuels creative rivalry between them, but is also often ill-tempered and turbulent. The relationship declines when Emile uses Paul as the inspiration for a tragic character in one of his books. With an abundance of beautiful outdoor scenes this film is a feast for the eyes. A must-see for lovers of art, history and France, it was shortlisted for the French submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film at the 89th Academy Awards.