Breaking News


Real Love 2018

Real Love | C'est ça l'amour

Real Love-C'est ça l'amour

As film industry reviewers, we say Real Love is one of our non-favorite movies. Please VOTE!

Real Love is favorite or unfavorite?

When Mario and Armelle separate, the family unit is thrown into disarray.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this feature film!

About Real Love 💬

Forbach, eastern France. Present day.

Mario Messina (Bouli Lanners) has been taking care of the household since his wife Armelle (Cécile Rémy-Boutang) left him. Family has always been the most important thing for the loving father. He now must raise his two adolescent daughters by himself, while going through some sort of a teenage crisis of his own. Frida (Justine Lacroix), 14, blames him for her mother leaving. Niki, 17, is dreaming of leaving home.

He loves his daughters and attempts to be a 'good father' but he struggles to keep house and to cope with his work as a civil servant in local government.

Meanwhile, Mario waits for his wife to come home.


Q: Why choose this title?

Claire Burger: For me, the title is more a question than an assertion. The film explores love in all its forms. Each character embodies a different attitude to love at a crucial moment of their existence. By delving into the heart of a town and a family, at a moment of crisis, I wanted to observe bonds that are forged or that break as people get their wires crossed or rush to judgment. A story of turbulence in a family and in society, like a piece of music for many voices, where so many points of view clash; a battlefield where constant pressure, exacerbated sensitivity and impassioned interactions bring the characters to wage violent war sometimes: it is a film about love, but also about power, territory, reconquest and desertion. Mario is not alone in fighting to preserve or forge those bonds. Niki and Frida are also looking for love. Budding, adolescent love. And the turmoil that Frida experiences, as she discovers her sexuality, contributes to upset the family's equilibrium.

Q: Your previous movie, Party Girl, was a portrait of a resilient woman. REAL LOVE is that of a fragile man.

Claire Burger: The heroine of Party Girl is a free, independent-minded woman, who struggles to reconcile her life as a mother with her life as a woman. Mario is a vulnerable, emotionally dependent guy. He wants to keep his wife and daughters with him but knows that their leaving is inevitable. He has to refocus on himself and what he wants in life. It's a situation that a lot of mothers experience when their children grow up. I wanted to show a devoted father facing the same questions.

In the movie, Mario is overrun by women packing big temperaments. All the women around him are solid and strong, and they force him to reassess - his daughters, wife, coworkers, and even the woman at the rest stop. The film reflects a time in society when women are expanding their rights and freedom, but the idea was not to portray a man resisting change. Mario changes too; he repositions himself in that context.

I wanted to draw a portrait of a delicate, sensitive, affectionate man, far removed from clichés of virility. I was raised by a man like that. For Mario, I was inspired by my father's personality and his relationship to fatherhood and, above all, to passing on knowledge and culture. It was the upbringing he gave us and, to some extent, his feminism that enabled my sister and I to feel strong as women and, in my own case, legitimate as a filmmaker.

Q: Armelle, Mario's wife, is an example of an independent woman. She temporarily leaves her daughters in order to live her life.

Claire Burger: When my mother left, I felt things as a teenager that I didn't really understand or accept. At the time, I looked for someone to blame and I absorbed the event without fully ascertaining every aspect of it. I found it interesting to revisit the situation with my adult gaze, with the ability to understand different points of view.

What I wanted to capture in the movie was the explosion: showing what absence and the trauma of separation produce; seeing what happens after someone leaves, after the void, when you have to choose life and rebuild, move on, or not.

Above all, I didn't want to make the mother a negative character. That's why I had to let her speak, let her explain that she looked after her daughters and looked after their father, and that she is allowed to fall in love, to put herself first. That's what I inherited from my mother: a woman is a woman first and a mother second. If that seems obvious now, it definitely wasn't twenty or thirty years ago. It contradicted society's expectations of women. As a child, glimpses of female role models were unclear, unsettling.

Q: In your films - Forbach, C'est gratuit pour les filles (It's Free for Girls), Party Girl - your material is often autobiographical or inspired by your loved ones.

Claire Burger: REAL LOVE was inspired by my parents' breakup. I drew on my loved ones to write the characters of the film. In comparison to my previous movies, however, I allowed myself to reach further into fiction, which enabled me to picture this story of a family from every angle - the father's, the mother's, and the daughters' respective points of view. To tell the story, I had to shuck my subjectivity and imagine how the breakup affected other members of my family. I really enjoyed releasing my characters from issues of reality or truth so they could completely inhabit their story. Also, for the character of Mario, I wanted to work with a professional actor for the first time. The screenplay was highly structured with very precise dialogue. I wanted scenes to play out exactly as I had written them, so with less improvisation than in my earlier movies.

Q: Until now, you always worked with nonprofessionals.

Claire Burger: Overall, it was important to me to move on and explore other experiences of acting. Previously, I worked exclusively with non-professionals from where I grew up. This time, I wanted to mix people and genres - Parisians and locals, from every level of society - embarking on a collective adventure and finding harmony between radically different people. I was curious to see what a professional actor might bring to the film, but it had to be an actor able to ground himself in the region where we would be shooting. Forbach is in north-eastern France, on the German border, so I soon included Belgian actors in my search, and Bouli Lanners seemed an obvious choice to play Mario. Bouli comes from a border region, too, and speaks several languages, including the dialect spoken by people where I come from. He has loads of childhood within him, huge sensitivity. When we arranged to meet to discuss the part, he suggested we do it in Forbach rather than Paris. He wanted to see my father's house and immerse himself in the town. He immediately grasped the importance of the place to me. And when I filmed him, childhood in his eyes mesmerized me and moved me. I wanted it to be him. He radiates the generosity and humanity that I wanted for my character on screen and that was crucial to the adventure that we were all embarking on. I was dropping him into my town and surrounding him with non-professional actors who would need support, especially the teens who would play his daughters.

Q: REAL LOVE is a portrait of a family, a town and a whole social class.

Claire Burger: Forbach is an economically distressed community at the heart of a working-class region. The wealthier classes moved out long ago and the middle class is slowly disappearing. Movies tend to be set either in upscale environments - beautiful locations, characters whose purchasing power makes everything possible in narrative terms - or among society's most underprivileged groups, whose struggle to survive against overwhelming odds and obstacles is dramatically compelling. The middle class may appear less cinematic, more difficult to depict. I wanted to move people without sensationalizing, I wanted emotion to drive the story rather than plot twists. Mario has a very ordinary life, as a pen-pusher in gray, bureaucratic offices. He seeks adventure in the cultural life of his city.

Q: There is a meta-aspect to the film when Mario signs up for a stage play titled Atlas.

Claire Burger: It's a play directed by Ana Borralho and João Galante that stands out from other plays because it's created in collaboration with the performers who are all local people. I went to see it in Nanterre, outside Paris, and it reverberated with the films I had made so far. I have worked in pretty hybrid forms, between fiction and documentary, most often in my hometown and sometimes with non-professional actors playing themselves. Atlas is a process during which each participant comes up with a phrase that captures something about them - who they are or want to be, or the life they want. It involves making their privacy public in order to say something about the world they live in and the world in general - something that speaks to everyone. That approach and the process of self-representation really spoke to me.

Antonia Buresi, who plays Antonia in the film, is part of the Atlas team. She asked me if I wanted to come with them to Charleroi, in Belgium, whose history as a once-prosperous working-class town on the skids is similar to Forbach's. On that trip, I saw how the group of performers came together by forging a bond. For people who feel vulnerable, invisible, without a voice, the ability to express something about yourself in public can be life-changing.

For the film, we recreated an Atlas production in Forbach by recruiting people from different backgrounds and communities. That was important for me because it's a region where the extreme rightwing Front National is making spectacular inroads. The town imploded after the mines closed down and it suffers from a lack of vision for the future. I didn't want lingering shots of industrial landscapes, but shots of the inhabitants' bodies and faces. I wanted the camera to give them a voice. Those voices, on a personal and collective level, resonate with the story of Mario and his daughters.

Q: It's another important aspect of the film - the way in which the arts are defined, what art is. You defend a vision of the arts with everyone participating.

Claire Burger: I wanted to show characters who take an interest in the arts but not necessarily in an elitist way - the people who keep movie theaters, theatres and museums alive in the provinces. Mario spends all his spare time at exhibitions and concerts. Music also plays an important role in the film. It's one of Mario's passions, one of the ways his great sensitivity expresses itself. I wanted to switch from serious music to pop music and back, to transcend issues of taste with the diverse soundtrack of family life. All kinds of musical genres feature in the movie: Corsican polyphony, classical, Italian pop ballads, electro, etc. I also worked with a choreographer, contemporary artists and stage directors so that the arts are everywhere in the film. I wanted to show that culture not only raises society up but also heightens emotions. I wanted to put art back there.

Real Love Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Claire Burger

Writing Credits

Claire Burger


Bouli Lanners

Justine Lacroix

Sarah Henochsberg

Cécile Rémy-Boutang

Antonia Buresi

Célia Mayer

Lorenzo Demanget

Tiago Gandra

Cinematography by

Julien Poupard

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Countries: France, Belgium

Real Love Official Trailer

Our Choice

Unfavorite 👎 Unfavourite

It's Your Turn!

✋ This content is prepared by All Favorite Movies (AFM).

📣 You can take part in a vote, leave a comment and share in your social media to spread the world your favorite movies!

No comments: