Alice: A mesmerizing story with gripping performances

Love. It’s the best but most complicated feeling there is. Whether you fall head over heels in love or whether it takes a while, once you have found that right person, you want to spend the rest of your life with them. But what if it turns out that the love of your life isn’t who he or she is? What if there are some hidden secrets or what if the phrase “it’s too good to be true” is actually true? In “Alice”, writer-director Josephine Mackerras (“L’enfant perdue”, “Diva”) tells her story which resulted in an incredibly emotional, heart-breaking but also hopeful film led by the amazing Emilie Piponnier (“Ma fille”, “La stagiaire”).

At first sight, Alice’s (Piponnier) life seems perfect. Living with her loving husband Francois (Martin Swabey) and their little son Jules (Jules Milo Levy Mackerras) in Paris whilst having a nice job and wonderful friends. However, the darkness starts to reveal itself. Francois doesn’t only start drinking in the early morning but when Alice accidentally discovers his dirty and hidden secrets, their lives are being turned upside down.

There is quite a relatable film. There is a good chance that some people are going through what Alice went through or have been through a similar situation. It’s that human aspect, alongside the captivating emotions, that makes from this movie very  moving and gripping. Love, betrayal, family and also friendship are topics we can all relate to in one way or another.

Apart from the emotions, it’s also the bright and light cinematography and setting that makes this film a very welcoming one, especially at the beginning. No luxurious apartment or fancy cars, just a down-to-earth and happy family living in a moderate apartment or at least that’s what it looks like. Forget special effects, fast-paced car chases or gunshots, Alice is all about emotions. You might think that because of the lack of action, the film can become dull or too boring but that’s certainly not the case. It has the right length so it captivates you from start to finish.

Because of the personal story, the cast is the most important element of the film and casting director Elise McLeod did a marvellous job. Piponnier can handle every emotion of the spectrum: From happiness, joyfulness and being in love to insecurity, angriness, and determination. In the role of Alice’s husband Francois, we see Martin Swabey (“Mr. Nobody”, “The kidnapping of Phil Frisco”) who’s a great support for Piponnier. She wasn’t able to count on her husband but at least Alice had a new friend Lisa (Chloé Boreham) who was there when she needed a shoulder to cry on. Boreham (“The Unicorn”, “Ready for This”) not only brings a dark side to the screen but also the funniness, wittiness, and friendship in a delightful way. Jules Milo Levy Mackerras delivers a playful and innocent performance and is exactly what this film needs when it becomes more secretive.

“Alice” will have its world premiere at the prestige SXSW Festival in Austin this March and so far that’s the only festival the film will be screened at. We’re sure that it won’t be the last one as this is a remarkable film telling a mesmerising story filled with emotional performances.

Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter – Just Celebrity Magazine


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