Film Review: Her Way

Film Review of Her Way starring Laure Calamy

DIRECTED BY

Cécile Ducrocq

STARRING

Laure Calamy, Nissim Renard, Béatrice Facquer, Romain Brau, Sam Louwyck, Diana Korudzhiyska, Amlan Larcher, Valentina Papic, Leonarda Guinzburg, Kim Humbrecht, Sarah Ouazana, Melissa Guers, Mahir Fekih-Slimane and Maxence Tual

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SYNOPSIS

Marie, an independent sex worker and activist, dreams of a bright future for her son. She decides to enrol him in one of the best cooking schools in France.

Film Review of Her Way

Her Way (Une Femme Du Monde) is written and directed by Cécile Ducrocq, making her first feature film after directing numerous shorts. She also happens to be reuniting with Laure Calamy, as the two previously collaborated on the 2014 short Back Alley, which coincidentally bears similarities with this feature film. The film focuses on Marie, a confident, optimistic sex worker in Strasbourg who is determined to provide a better life for her seventeen-year-old son Adrien. While he appears to be in a bottomless pit of apathy and negativity after being expelled from school, Marie latches on to the one passion that he has in his life, cooking, and discovers that there is a prestigious cookery school in the city, known as Perrandier, that can be provide him the perfect opportunity. As Marie soon learns just how expensive it will be to send Adrien to Perrandier, she becomes so determined to pay off his tuition that she takes increasingly desperate measures in the process.

Film Review - Her Way - Laure Calamy as Marie Kriegel

Her Way gives the viewer a glimpse into the life of a sex worker, through the eyes of Marie Kriegel, and while some films (and television shows) view sex work either in a comedic or seedy lens, the collaborative effort from Cécile Ducrocq and Laure Calamy gives the story a lot of humanity and empathy. We open with Marie engaging with one of her johns, quizzing him slightly to understand his needs, and making a record of the john and payment in a journal after he leaves. We seen how meticulous she is in keeping records of her clients, and soon see just how confident she is of her profession, taking to the streets protesting alongside fellow friends/sex workers, challenging the government to change the laws about prostitution, as well as later in the film (in a rather telling scene), we see how unashamed she is when talking to a banker and telling him her profession.

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While she’s confident and unashamed of her life, she feels like she’s witnessing her son’s life stagnating, constantly sleeping in, getting high with his friends, just no real desire other than to get through the day with minimum effort. It doesn’t help upon speaking to someone about her sons options, she’s advised that the best he can do is either trucking or security training. Marie wants the best for him, getting her friend, who is a cross-dresser, to help her son prepare for an interview at Perrandier by doing a mock interview, we can see that she is, figuratively speaking, dragging him into this prestigious school kicking and screaming. It’s an interesting drama that doesn’t rely on its intimacy scenes, rather focusing on the dilemma of a mother striving to do what is best for her son. Laure Calamy is captivating as Marie Kriegel. She is on screen for the majority of the films runtime so the film rests solely on her performance and I thought she was terrific. Nissim Renard also gives a good performance as Adrien, though some might dislike the character and believe he is ungrateful, I did like how his story arc played out.

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VERDICT

Her Way is an engaging drama from writer-director Cécile Ducrocq, bringing empathy into telling the story about a sex worker, which is captivated by an enchanting performance by Laure Calamy.

★★★½

HER WAY IS IN CINEMAS AND ON CURZON HOME CINEMA ON THE 26TH AUGUST FROM BLUE FINCH FILM RELEASING.