It is quite a regular occurrence to find a movie about somebody who was unaware of their talent to sing – then when they are about to shine, a tragedy strikes. The story then typically concludes with a successful performance. This formula is applied in The Bélier Family – Paula Bélier (Louane Emera) is the only person in the family who can hear in the family; her parents, Rodolphe (François Damiens) and Gigi (Karin Viard) – along with her brother, Quentin (Luca Gelberg) are all deaf. Paula acts like a spokesperson for the family, dealing with suppliers as well as customers at the village market where her parents sell their cheese. When a singing teacher, Fabien Thomasson (Eric Elmosnino) discovers that Paula can sing really well, he suggests that Paula should audition for the Maîtrise de Radio France, a prestigious school in Paris. This provides a dilemma for Paula, as she doesn’t want to leave the family, whilst her mother also sees the possible move as an act of betrayal.
Despite the known outcome of the movie, by the time that you see the first scene of the movie, The Bélier Family does its best to charm you with its lovable characters. From the amorous Rodolphe and Gigi, the seemingly-aloof Gabriel (Ilian Bergala) as Paula’s love interest, to the kooky Mathilde (Roxane Duran) – Paula’s bestfriend. These lovable characters make the movie fresh and entertaining, despite the familiar storyline. The movie also introduces a couple of songs from French singer Michel Sardou, who is well-known in France in the 1970s – sung by Louane Emera who is known in France for being a semi-finalist in the second season of The Voice: la plus belle voix. These songs are definitely the bonus from the movie and are integral to the storyline as well.
So, if you are keen to close 2015 on a heartwarming note, The Bélier Family is a good choice. It’s not quite a movie to bring your young children along though, as it does have some implied ‘grown-up activities’ in it, such as Rodolphe and Gigi’s antiques. Something to see after you do your post-Christmas shopping perhaps?
Now this may seem a little bit weird – I know I put the trailer of every movie review that I put on my blog. However, having seen the trailer to this movie, I would suggest that you don’t watch it. The trailer reveals too much of the gems in the movie, including the songs that I mention earlier. Whoever made the trailer should have trusted the story and the movie more, rather than making it almost like a synopsis of the whole movie!