The new French film Footnotes is a delightful dance through the perils of unemployment and the picket line. Julie is a young woman who is desperately trying to keep down a job in a French economy that has changed dramatically and left her behind more times than she can count. After being terminated from a shoe store, she goes through multiple job interviews before being offered a trial position as a stock girl for a couture shoe manufacturer. Unfortunately, after accepting the position she discovers that the greedy owner of the company is planning a “restructuring” that would close the factory and move all of the production out of France. She finds herself in close friendship with the office secretary and through becoming closer with the picketers, she begins a relationship with a local truck driver. Things become complicated when the local truck drivers side with the shoe company owners. It will take the return of a classic shoe with a rebellious name to change things.
When I sat down to watch Footnotes (or it’s original title Sur quel pied Danser) I was unaware it was a musical. Imagine my surprise when a young job hunter suddenly starts singing while riding an electric bicycle. Directors Paul Calori and Kostia Testut have blended the cast and setting to create a whimsical film that shows how powerful women can be when they work together. The coloration is great. The songs are wonderful. The cast is fantastic. Within minutes I forgot that I was reading subtitles and fell into the story with glee.
Footnotes has that magical quality that reminds me of films like Amelie. It is incredibly difficult to be in a bad mood while watching this film and I’m greatly looking forward to hunting out a copy of the soundtrack if there’s one available in the United States.
Footnotes comes to limited release in theaters July 14th.