- Directed by: Eric Lartigau
- With: Karin Viard, François Damiens, Eric Elmosnino
- 106 Minutes
There’s something quite inspiring in La Famille Bélier… A heart-warming movie that has conquered many viewers in France and that, honestly, fulfilled all of my expectations. Directed by Eric Lartigau, this is one of those rare feel-good movies that manage to take advantage of their predictableness by making it a good thing. In this movie, we are invited to meet the Bélier family who is constantly challenged by a lot more than just the everyday problems. Paula is a teenage girl that lives with her deaf parents and brother so therefore she has more responsibilities than most teenagers do. From school to work, Paula is constantly struggling for her future and one day she faces an unexpected reality… The gift of singing… A tremendous surprise that in this story will place this young girl in a complicated situation where dreams and family collide and in the end it’s love what sticks everything together. And as viewers, our task is to enjoy and feel enchanted by this somewhat predictable tale that happens to be also the feel-good movie of this summer.
The fact is that La Famille Bélier is a quite effective feel-good movie since it fulfills the primary objective of the genre… The way the characters relate with each other is amusing and there’s the constant presence of a familiar tone through the whole movie. As a story that focuses in family, it got me right in the beginning. Paula is the hard-working girl who is constantly trying her best to help her family even though she faces constant difficulties at school. She is a sweet and innocent young girl with a big heart that happens to be the center of this family epic. With a sweet and kind personality, Paula leaves no one indifferent and thanks to her amazing voice there’s a lot more in the movie than just the predictable family tale. Driven by a constant need of fulfilling her dreams and helping her parents, she is the one who allows us to look at her deaf parents in an absorbing way. In this movie we see a happy and modest family that is surrounded by love and in which everyone wants to help each other. The family plot was probably the one that worked the best for me, even though I wanted to see more of it.
In La Famille Bélier, the family daily life is told side by side with the story of Paula’s singing gift and the way these plots complement each other is the reason why I consider this movie an enjoyable surprise. Throughout a series of predictable moments, the potential of the movie is concentrated on its actor’s performances and on the lovely and touching way the story was told. Not all feel-good movies manage to make me leave the room the way I did after watching this one… A mix of happiness and sadness caused mostly by an ending that means a lot to me as a student. The constant struggle of fighting for our dreams is represented here in a positive way through a series of great songs by Michel Sardou. After watching the movie, it was perfectly clear to me why this was such a big hit in France… La Famille Bélier is the cheerful movie we all want to see in the summer. A tale about family, dreams and love that even with a predictable plot is able to put a smile on everyone’s face.