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France, 1998 (MIFF 1998, East of Broadway)

Director: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau

"As soon as the office cleaners break into song, there's not a shadow of a doubt where Jeanne and the Perfect Guy is coming from. Shades of Jacques Demy's colourful tuners hang lightly on the shoulders of this modern fairytale musical about love and AIDS." - Variety

Darkly charming, Jeanne and the Perfect Guy is the perfect musical about a less than perfect world. Jeanne is a receptionist at a travel agency who lives life in the fast lane, changing boyfriends as often as her work uniform. After a spontaneous meeting with Olivier on the metro she soon thinks she's met the love of her life. However, when Olivier's HIV+ status becomes life-threatening, he realises that life will not be that long. Even in the film's morbid moments, Jeanne continues to love Olivier yet realises that life must go on.

Jacques Demy's son, Mathieu, takes the male lead, even singing his own songs. Virginie Ledoyen, in the title role, although not a trained dancer, moves with ease and precision. Her unique blend of innocence and sexuality is tailor made for the part. Vivid costumes and flawless choreography make for a local fable of love, death and human commitment. Jacques Martineau provides the songs, dealing with everything from the plight of immigrant workers to how to sell books. Absolutely gorgeous in widescreen splendour!

Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau are guests of the Festival.

Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau work together for the first time on Jeanne and the Perfect Guy. Olivier Ducastel has been directing and editing films in France since 1984 including one other musical, Le Goût de Plaire (1989) and short documentary Sur le Pont des Arts (1987). Jacques Martineau has lectured in Literature and Sociology at the University of Paris and has previously worked as lyric artist and scriptwriter.

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