Last night we watched a French language movie, released in 2015, from director Joann Sfar (“Gainsbourg : A Heroic Life”, “The Rabbi’s Cat”). Originally titled “La Dame Dans L’Auto Avec Des Lunettes Et Un Fusil” the psychological thriller was re-titled “The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun” for the international market.
The film remake of a 1970 movie also entitled “The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun” and both versions were in fact based upon a novel by French author Sébastien Japrisot, published in 1966, under the original French title.
The film starts with shots of Dany Dorémus (Freya Mavor – “Skins”, “Not Another Happy Ending”) standing on rocks at the edge of the ocean whilst in a voiceover she tells the viewer that she’s never been to see the sea.
We also see Dany, who is short-sighted, dressed in her formal work attire. She is a secretary working for Paris-based businessman Michel Caravaille (Benjamin Biolay – “Gaby Baby Doll”, “Lola”) who needs her to type up a presentation overnight that he has to take away the following day, whilst the rest of the office are off to a party.
Michel invites Dany to stay at his home for the night, to enable her to finish the job, where he lives with his wife Anita (Stacy Martin – “Nymphomaniac : Vol I”, “Winter”) who had attended secretarial college with Dany before marrying the boss and having a child. Dany settles down to work while Michel and Anita go out for the evening.
The next morning the Caravailles ask Dany to drive them to Orly Airport in their Thunderbird car and then take the car back to their home for them. However, with a couple of days before the family are due back, Dany impulsively decides to take a detour and visit the coast that she has never seen before returning the car.
Driving the Thunderbird towards the south coast of France, Dany is increasingly confused and disoriented as various people that she encounters claim to have seen her the previous day, in a restaurant, at a petrol station and at a hotel – something that she is initially certain to be impossible.
When she encounters a man who says his name is Georges (Elio Germano – “Leopardi”, “A Magnificent Haunting”) things begin to get even weirder when a body appears in the previously empy boot of the Thunderbird, along with a gun. How did he get there, who is he and who killed him?…
Visually set in the 1970s, this is a very stylish film. There are brief flashbacks and what appear to be hallucinations into some alternative future, all of which make sense in the end but mix things up enough to keep things interesting and keep the viewer guessing as to exactly what’s going on.
Scottish actress Mavor does and excellent job as the lead character, switching between prim and proper secretary to a more glamorous version and certainly the wardrobe department, whilst not too overt or over the top, make the most of her sex appeal.
This is a superb film that will doubtless pass most people by, which is a shame because we found it to be a most engaging and fun use of the ninety-odd minutes running time. Very much worth checking out…