Café de Flore (2011), written, directed, and edited by French-Canadian filmmaker: Jean-Marc Vallée, is an emotional drama designed for extreme romantics. Touching on themes of soul mates, with suggestions of reincarnation, this affectionate and devastating film captures love’s extreme highs and lows with its enigmatic charm.
The plot follows the dual storylines of a mother and son in 1960’s Paris, and a recently divorced couple in present day Montreal. The film captivatingly knits these two narratives of abiding passion together in a love story about people separated by time and place, but connected in deep and perplexing ways. The film overcomes the boundaries that separate the two plots by conjoining them through their shared motifs of love, loss, jealousy, obsession, and other less strictly thematic connections.
Although the film was heavily criticized for its fragmented structure, which was compared to a cinematic jigsaw puzzle, I strongly disagreed. At the end of the film, there were no pieces missing despite the plot’s fragmented construction, and I was left in the wake of a visually mesmerizing and superbly acted masterpiece. It was brash, it was brave, and it was brilliant.