The Rose Maker [La fine fleur] — Alliance Française French Film Festival 2021

Since she was a tiny child, Eve Vernet (Catherine Frot) has been immersed in the world of roses, learning from her father everything about growing, grafting, and creating new varieties.  Now an award-winning producer and creator of new roses in her own right, Eve is nevertheless in trouble.  Her business is in financial straits, its survival more precarious every day.

Véra (Olivia Côte), Eve’s steadfast, faithful, and loyal assistant, takes action to save the business, bringing in three farmhands to help manage the enormous workload of this family business.  Unfortunately, the new employees know nothing about roses or anything horticultural.  But one of them, Fred, has an interesting past, and it gives Eve an idea for saving her rose farm and her father’s legacy.

The Rose Maker is perfectly cast.  Catherine Frot as the quietly passionate Eve Vernet is flawless.  Through her we enter a world at once familiar (who doesn’t love a rose?) and strange (who knew how cutthroat the rose business could be?).  And her genuine humanity and her love for roses and determination to honour her father’s memory have us cheering her on, willing her and her collaborators to succeed, no matter the means.

Olivia Côte as Véra is a gem, tirelessly holding all the worry within herself; Melan Omerta convincingly inhabits the damaged but redeemable Fred; Samir Fatsah Bouyahmed is a loveably hapless Samir; Marie Petiot, a convincingly naïve Nadège.  Vincent Dedienne as Lamarzelle, the suave but egotistical and ruthless competitor, is everything we love to despise.

With themes ranging from commitment to redemption, The Rose Maker affirms that sometimes in life we’re given an unexpected chance to find our way through, friends who will stand by us even if it comes at a personal cost, and assurance that even momentary perfection is its own reward.

Screening at Palace cinemas.


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