VenueWalter Reade Theater
Veteran director-actress Nicole Garcia’s refreshingly understated seventh feature follows the formation of an improbable bond between Baptiste (Pierre Rochefort), a commitment-averse substitute teacher, and Mathias (Mathias Brezot), a young student emotionally neglected by his separated parents. Filling in as a temporary surrogate father for Mathias, Baptiste soon finds himself entangled with Mathias’s hard-working, hard-partying mother, Sandra (Louise Bourgoin). When a couple of thugs show up to collect an outstanding debt, the chivalrous Baptiste takes it upon himself to resolve the conflict. Full of sharply and empathetically drawn characters (embodied by an excellent cast, including Dominique Sanda as Baptiste’s mother), Garcia’s intimate film also speaks profoundly about the responsibilities bound up in the connections people forge.