The third movie that I’ve selected from the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2012 line-up is La guerre est déclarée (Declaration of War). The film was the opening film of the festival so I expected something special out of the movie.
The story is about Juliette (Valérie Donzelli) who meets a guy who is incidentally called Romeo (Jérémie Elkaïm). They see each other on the dance-floor and fall madly in love. We then learn that they have a baby called Adam – whose development is delayed and gets sick every time he is bottle-fed. After several scanning, the neurologist diagnoses Adam with a brain tumour. The movie deals with how Romeo and Juliette handle the situation and how Adam’s sickness affects their relationship and their life.
In such a morbid situation, Valérie Donzelli, who also directs this movie, somehow manages to infuse a great sense of humour and lightness into a dark and dreary topic. This is not a sentimental movie about sickness or death but an uplifting and yet pragmatic depiction of how love and optimism can keep you strong in the face of serious challenges. The movie slips into some strange musical numbers at times and can be a tad uneven, nevertheless it is such a sweet and sincere movie that you forgive its shortcomings. The movie is France’s entry to the 84th Academy Award but it didn’t manage to get into the final shortlist.