Review by James Lindorf
Marianne Farley’s sincere film, Marguerite, stars Béatrice Picard (Les Jeunes Loups) alongside Sandrine Bisson (1991). Picard is Marguerite, an aging woman suffering from complications of diabetes, forced to hire a nurse, Rachel, played by Bisson. As the two develop a friendship, Marguerite is reminded of long unrequited love. Will her new friendship ease the pain of her longing and help her make peace with her past? Marguerite can be seen at San Diego International Film Festival in October and Miami Short Film Festival in November.
Marguerite clocks in at just under 18 minutes before credits role, and those minutes, while not heavy on dialogue, still conveyed lots of emotion. Picard’s strong performance is complemented by beautiful cinematography from Marc Simpson-Threlford and music by Julien Knafo. The scene where Marguerite is remembering her first love is perfectly accompanied by soft sweet music.
Rachel is the light of Marguerite’s life, literally and figuratively. She is there during the day and brings happiness to her life by reminding her of what she gave up and the beauty of what she could have had. The way the film was shot bathes the characters in light when they are together, but when Rachel is gone for the day, the lighting is as dour as Marguerite’s mood.
The film has a beautiful message about compassion and acknowledging who you are before it is too late. I wish that there would have been a little more dialogue to help me connect with the characters and believe in their friendship more than I did. Farley also could have done more to help the audience understand the passing of time. It felt like everything happens over the course of a week, but based on what the characters wear, it was probably closer to a year. While there may be some faults, they overwhelm the many good qualities of Marguerite.