Louise by the Shore

Louise by the Shore

By Jean-François Laguionie - 1h15 - 2015 (France)
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Louise by the Shore
Audience 10+

Synopsis

It's the final day of summer in the small seaside resort of Biligen-sur-Mer. The last holidaymakers are on their way to the train station to head back to the city and avoid the unusually high tide that is forecast. Everyone leaves - except Louise, who is late, arriving just as the last train pulls out of the station. The town is deserted and it seems like everyone has forgotten about Louise, even her family. But she is determined to take charge of things! In the space of a few months this grandmother creates a new life just for herself, making solitude her friend. It is an opportunity for her memories to join the adventure ...

Benshi's review
Benshi's review

Jean-François Laguionie is a director who knows how to build anticipation ... and he makes sure the wait is always worth it! After his splendid The Painting (2011), he made waves by returning in late 2016 with Louise by the Shore, which is undeniably his most personal film. Poetry and delicateness are the watch words in this feature film, which he began writing nearly 30 years ago as a novel paying tribute to his mother At the start of the film Louise welcomes us to a beach where she is surrounded by holidaymakers. She starts telling us, through her diary entries, about the greatest adventure in her life: her solitary 10-month saga on the very same beach! The account is interspersed with dreams and memories that she thought she had lost. But it also includes long rambles and treasure hunts during which her discoveries include a new friend, the novel with Robinson Crusoe and a Swiss army knife equipped with a paintbrush (a wonderful symbol of art as a weapon of expression!). Louise by the Shore is a gentle and intimate work about the passage of time. Viewers will enjoy discovering and exploring this ghost town with her. For who has never dreamed of being left alone in a shopping mall and being able to give free rein to their desires, or of building their own cabin on a beach? Jean-François Laguionie has never hidden his fondness for early 20th-century graphics and painting, citing Jean-Francis Auburtin and Henri Rivière as influences. That can be felt marvelously in the aesthetics of Louise by the Shore. The fictional town of Biligen-sur-Mer bears an uncanny similarity to the Normandy coast, with its sandy beaches, seafront promenades and cliffs. To create the effect of vibrant painting, the artwork was done with charcoal and gouache on Canson paper - the paper's grain can be clearly seen on the screen - before being digitised for 2D animation. This ambitious aesthetic choice gives the film the feel of an incredibly charming piece of craft work. In the film Louise enjoys a privileged position from which to observe nature in all its glory, experiencing how powerful and how soothing it can be, so it was essential that the film's sounds - of the sea, the birds and the wind - did not fall short. The challenge was well and truly met! The film's score is also remarkable, alternating between piano compositions and more solemn orchestral works for the sequences involving Louise's imagination and memories. This is a breathtaking work in which everything has been arranged very delicately and Dominique Frot's voice is superb. There is no good reason for not checking out this gem as quickly as possible…

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Top reasons to watch this film !

  • 1 Immerse yourself in the world of Louise and the memories that she shares with us like treasure
  • 2 The profound tenderness of a grandmother who could be our very own
  • 3 This very personal take on the adventures of Robinson Crusoe
  • 4 The beauty of the artwork and the poetry it emits, which take us to a place where time has no meaning

Who is it aimed at ?

We recommend this film for ages 11 and over. Louise by the Shore was not intended as a film for children. But Benshi truly believes the most beautiful cinematic moments we experience as children come from discovering films that were not aimed at us but that we understand. Louise is nearly 74 and the film's main themes - memory, introspection, solitude, old age and the imminence of death - may seem a world away from childhood. But Benshi thinks that a lot of children will, like us, grow fond of this grandmother and feel the same curiosity for her that they feel for other elderly people they like. Some segments of the film deal with an imaginary friendship between Louise and a parachutist who died when she was a teenager. Young children may find these odd - even a little worrying -, which is why we recommend the film for ages 10 and over. But for all the reasons we have already mentioned, Benshi believes that Louise on the Shore really belongs here and older children will, so long as it suits their sensibility, find it to be one of the best animated films of 2016!

Themes and topics

Sea Loneliness Coming of age Tales and legends
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