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Les Promesses

Thomas Kruithof | 2021 | 98 MINS
France | Subtitles
French Film Festival UK

Isabelle Huppert and Reda Kateb launch themselves into the world of politics, at the crossroads between individual and collective interests, power games and social issues.

In Detail

Huppert plays Clemence, the two-time mayor of a Paris suburb, whose big housing restoration project may go down in flames before she steps down and lets a loyal protégé run for her office.

She schemes with brilliant aide Yazid (Reda Kateb), wheedles with discontented tenants and investigates who is behind the refugee squats that are infesting the buildings. Eventually she decides she is going to run for that third term after all, which sets the hair of her party leader, her now former protégé, and Yazid on fire. Expertly conceived and executed, and rather pertinent to French concerns especially in the light of Macron’s new plans for Marseilles. The script is very clever and perfectly paced, and the performances, particularly from Isabelle Huppert and Reda Kateb, are delightful and truly engaging. Huppert does well to reveal the edges of the character of Clémence while keeping a slight aloofness, giving her moral compass a hint of mystery as the plot develops.

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