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A HELL OF A DAY

France, 2001 (MIFF 2002, There Goes The Neighbourhood – Humour on Film)

Director: Marion Vernoux

This multi-layered and exquisitely French take on the fragmented lives of urban living focuses on one rotten day when everything goes awry for a group of tenuously linked Parisians. Director and co-writer Marion Vernoux captures the myriad moods of her characters as they play out their private dramas of seduction, adultery, pregnancy, divorce and abandonment. For Hortense, the frantic quest for sexual conquest begins in a traffic jam. For Marie, it starts with a positive pregnancy test, a car accident and losing her job. And then there is Luis, a weary bus driver whose wife announces - while he is driving his route - that she plans to leave him.

Marion Vernoux interweaves these disparate lives, connecting some while following others on their more solitary journeys, catching their individual, idiosyncratic personalities with a humanist's eye for the revealing moment. Alternating irreverent comedy with poignant and reflective drama, A Hell of a Day is sure to find favour in the hearts of MIFF audiences.

Marion Vernoux (born in 1966) is an accomplished screenwriter, her scripts including Bernard Schmitt's Pacific Palisades (1988) and Tonie Marshall's Venus Beauty Institute (2000). She has directed Nobody Loves Me (1994), Love, etc (1996) and Drugstore (2000).

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