© 2009 Sombrero Productions

Hidden Diary (2009)

Titled Mères et filles (“Mothers and Daughters”) in French, this is the story of three generations of women in the same family. Audrey (Marina Hands) plays a single woman who works in Canada as a kitchen appliance designer. She comes back home at short notice and stays for a while with her parents (Catherine Deneuve and Michel Duchaussoy). While her father is patient and understanding, her mother obviously has some sort of chip on her shoulder, and before long Audrey moves to a seaside home that was once own by her grandparents. While there, she discovers an old book written by her grandmother (Marie-Josée Croze), which is half cookbook, half confessional diary. The grandmother was a free-spirited woman ahead of her time, who left her husband and children. Audrey bonds with this woman she never had the chance to meet, while coming to an understanding of why her mother can be so nasty.

I saw this film as part of a week-long series of events in Tokyo celebrating French culture. Catherine Deneuve came out for a Q&A afterward, and as I was sitting in the front row, she was directly in front of me. I have never seen such grace and poise in one person before. Simply lovely.

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