Co-scripting with Christophe Honore (whose second film was the unsettling Oedipal blow-out “Ma mere”), Morel presents Camille (Deneuve) as an unpretentious and vivacious divorcee who runs a classy bookshop in Lyon.
Opening sequence has son Mathieu (Adrien Jolivet) and his best buddy, Franck (Thomas Dumerchez), frolicking in wigs and women’s clothing in Mathieu’s bedroom. Turns out they’re straight lads dressing as girls for a classmate’s bachelor party. Chummy Camille helps them with their mascara and lipstick and sends them on their way.
Later that night, the police call with news that Mathieu is dead. Stunned, Camille phones her daughter, Laure (Elodie Bouchez), who’s three months pregnant. Camille’s ex-husband, Francois (Guy Marchand), joins her at the hospital to identify the body.
After the funeral, as mourners gather at her apartment, Camille is drawn to the spot where the boys hit a tree. Franck, who was driving the car but wasn’t injured, is making his own bereaved pilgrimage, and Camille brings him to the wake. The second they arrive, it’s clear she’s the only one who thinks he belongs there.
Camille proceeds to make Franck, the hunky tattooed son of Portuguese workers, into her pet project. She insists on hiring him to work in her bookshop and tries to anticipate his every need for a radiant future. Mathieu was enormously important to both of them and now he’s gone. –Variety
Gaël Morel (born September 25, 1972) is a French film director, screenwriter and actor. Morel was born in Villefranche-sur-Saône, Rhône, France, a small town of 30,000 inhabitants outside Lyon. He also grew up in the nearby little village of Lacenas in the Villefranche district.
At the age of 15, Morel left home to go to pursue film studies in Lyon, afterwards moving to Paris. There he met with the acclaimed French director André Téchiné who cast him in the lead role of François in the multi César-winning 1994 film Les Roseaux sauvages (Wild Reeds) which brought him to wider fame, earning much critical praise for his performance, and a 1995 César nomination for Most Promising Young Actor.
While his Wild Reeds co-stars Élodie Bouchez and Stéphane Rideau have both gone on to successful acting careers (he has often cast them in his own films), Morel has chosen to pursue a career behind the camera, as filmmaking has always been his passion. —Wikipedia