Les Petites Couleurs, 2002

The ambassador of Switzerland, Christian Blickenstorfer and filmmaker Patricia Plattner were on hand to provide introductory remarks (along with a subsequent wine and cheese reception at the gallery) to the opening night feature, Les Petites Couleurs, a simple, effervescent, and charming comedy that centers on a beautiful hairdresser named Christelle (Anouk Grinberg) as she rebuilds her life, independence, and self-esteem after seeking refuge from her abusive husband at a rural truck stop motel owned by an endearing, good natured widow named Mona (Bernadette Lafont). Similar to the playful whimsy of Beeban Kidron’s To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (sans drag queens), the film’s eccentricity is characteristically evident in interspersed scenes from a banal and unintentionally amusing television serial (a literal soap opera where every dialogue is sung) called The Ranch of Love that Christelle and Mona religiously watch (a preposterous plot involving an amnesic cowboy who unwittingly abandons his pregnant lover and marries a native American woman) to break the monotony of their bucolic existence. Christelle’s attempts to incorporate life lessons from the insipid television program into her own life – from emulating the abandoned heroine’s alluring hairstyle to finding true love – reflects the underlying idiosyncratic tone and sweet nature of the film.

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