Following his British period drama The Young Victoria, Jean-Marc Vallée returns to French-language filmmaking with this unconventional love story in which two narratives are rhythmically woven together to create a tale of emotion and destiny.
Set in present-day Montreal, the first story centres on Antoine (Kevin Parent), a successful DJ and divorced father of two girls who is wildly infatuated with his girlfriend Rose (Evelyne Brochu). However, he still has strong ties to his ex, Carole (Hélène Florent), and it’s evident they are not entirely over one another. The second story takes place in Paris in 1969. Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis) is the fiercely devoted single mother of Laurent, a young boy with Down syndrome. When a young girl who also has Down syndrome joins Laurent’s class, Jacqueline’s tightly woven world begins to fray. It seems initially that music is the only link between the two stories, but as Carole’s nightmares and sleepwalking intensify, we begin to sense that she is connected to Jacqueline in a much deeper way.
Vallée has crafted a mysterious and at times devastating portrait of the mystic forces controlling his characters’ destinies. Café de Flore possesses an undeniable musicality: its layered, rhythmic beat mixing together two powerful tales of love and loss. - Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo, Toronto International Film Festival
Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Hélène Florent, Evelyne Brochu