105 minutes

Annoyed that her conventional daughter doesn't want her at her marriage, a free-spirited aging hippie finds a job as a time-share saleswoman.

Odds are that French writer/director Marc Fitoussi's sophomore feature would not raise much interest, if it weren't for the surprise casting of the divine Isabelle Huppert in a rare comedy role.  Copacabana's highwire tightrope act of a character comedy balanced between the Dardenne brothers' downbeat look at working-class lives and the current crop of comedies of discomfort symbolized by Ricky Gervais' The Office and most of Judd Apatow's oeuvre can only be pulled off by a sympathetic cast. And Huppert's game, big-hearted performance as ditzy aging hippie Babou, who becomes a surprisingly successful sales rep in wintry Ostende to win back her daughter's respect, ably supported by Aure Atika as her fed up supervisor and Jurgen Delnaet as the dockworker who falls for her, more than qualifies.
It's another take on her recent stock role as a woman colliding head-on with reality, but a highly unusual one for the actress and one that seems to have been hugely pleasurable, starring opposite her own daughter Lolita Chammah (whose minimal role doesn't allow her talent to register either way). Without Huppert's performance, Copacabana would collapse; with her, it holds up as an amiable, if somewhat aimless, satire.
© 2011 Jorge Mourinha. all rights reserved by the author

Starring Isabelle Huppert, Lolita Chammah, Aure Atika, Jurgen Delnaet, Chantal Banlier, Joachim Lombard, Guillaume Gouix, Magali Woch; with the participation of Noémie Lvovsky; with the participation of Luis Régo.
Directed and written by Marc Fitoussi; produced by Caroline Bonmarchand; music by Tim Gane and Sean O'Hagan; director of photography (Eclair), Hélène Louvart; production designer, Michel Barthélémy; costume designer, Anne Schotte; film editor, Martine Giordano.
An Avenue B Productions presentation/production; in co-production with ARTE France Cinéma, Mars Films, CRRAV Nord-Pas de Calais, Caviar Films; with the support of Région Picardie, Région Nord-Pas de Calais and Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds; with the participation of Canal Plus, Cinécinéma, TV5 Monde and Centre National de la Cinématographie; in association with Banque Populaire Images 9; with the support of PROCIREP, ANGOA-AGICOA, MEDIA Programme of the European Union. (French distributor, Mars Distribution. World sales, Kinology.)
Screened: Estoril Film Festival 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, November 4th 2010.


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