French actress, writer and director Noemie Lvovsky is a protean talent with an almost chameleon quality as a performer.
In Camille Rewinds, which she co-wrote, directed and starred in, she gives herself an additional challenge.
It’s a story of second chances, in which she appears not only as the unhappy, resentful title character, but also as her teenage incarnation.
At a New Year’s Eve party, where she has briefly shared a moment of ’80s nostalgia, Camille finds herself back in her own past, a schoolgirl once more.
She’s about turn 16, and she hasn’t yet started a relationship with Eric, the boy she fell in love with and married, who has recently left her after 25 years.
He is played by Samir Guesmi, who appears as the Eric of the present (like Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage in Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married, which was built around a similar conceit).
Camille Rewinds is a comedy, yet it has its poignant moments, as Camille seeks not only to re-examine her relationship with Eric, but also to change the circumstances that led to the death of her mother. It’s a film of good-natured warmth, melancholy recognitions and surprises, clever narrative twists and turns.
And there’s a lovely cameo from Jean-Pierre Leaud, as a watchmaker whose offbeat wisdom makes him a kind of guardian angel of time travel.
M, selected cinemas, 110 minutes