By Rachel Cronin
Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s dynamic debut Anaïs in Love is one of 7 films (6 of which are by female directors) that are nominated for the Glasgow Film Festival 2022 Audience Award.
We fall in love with Anaïs (played by Anaïs Demoustier) as she navigates life and love as a newly single 30-year-old graduate student in Paris. Having split with her boyfriend, our free-flowing heroine falls for Daniel (Denis Podalydès), a publisher old enough to be her father. However, when the affair goes south, our main character’s jealousy-fuelled investigative work into his partner- enigmatic writer Emilie, played by Veleria Bruni Tedeschi- spirals into another epic love for Anaïs.
The animated Anaïs is almost always found running- rushing to and from whatever Thesis appointment, cinema date or meeting with her landlord she is late for. The high-energy, sunny score composed by Nicola Piovani beautifully accompanies her fun-loving youthful energy, and at times it feels like we’re listening to the inside of her head.
Comedy is a central part of Bourgeois-Tacquet’s untameable multifaceted romance, and we only spiral further into chaos as our female lead tries to win Emilie’s heart (without letting it slip that she slept with her partner.)
Our undeniably French love triangle climaxes in an intimate encounter between writer Emilie and Anaïs, where Emilie teaches our free-spirited protagonist that love cannot be the driving force in one’s entire life, and that they will likely never see each other again. A headstrong heartbroken Anaïs pulls her lover into the hotel lift (her previously indicated claustrophobia finally cured) and refuses her fate. We are left to wonder whether our power couple saw through their different outlooks on life, or whether what we witnessed was a heartfelt goodbye.
Anaïs In Love is a witty, fast-paced comedy- a must-watch for any lover of French cinema.