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The Queen of Hearts Showing Tonight at SLIFF

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Valérie Donzelli as Adele in The Queen of Hearts.
The Queen of Hearts
Directed by Valérie Donzelli
9:15 p.m. Tuesday, November 16, and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 17, at Plaza Frontenac

If the French film The Queen of Hearts gets remade in America, it will star Kate Hudson, and it will be unbearable. What else can you expect from a movie about a childlike woman who gets dumped by her boyfriend and left without a job, a home, friends or even a change of clothes -- and now must figure out how to get a life? Fortunately, Valérie Donzelli, who wrote, directed and stars, rescues this story from cliché by treating her heroine Adele like a real person, capable of being surprised by developments in her own life, instead of just a silly ball of quirks. Jérémie Elkaïm plays all four men in Adele's life and makes them believable as individuals instead of four look-alikes in different costumes, and Béatrice De Staël is touching as Adele's eccentric cousin Rachel, who sets the plot in motion by encouraging Adele to get over the breakup by sleeping with a new man. (Who hasn't suffered from that bit of advice?) There is singing, but don't worry, it's charming. Maybe bad breakups -- and movies about them -- are more fun if they happen in Paris?

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