Directed by Phillippe Le Guay (France, 2018, 105 min.). Digital. French and English with English subtitles.
The charming town of Le Mêle-sur-Sarthe, Normandy, is in crisis. Dairy and livestock prices have plummeted due to a flood of imports, and farmers are threatened with foreclosure. Mayor Georges Balbuzard (the irrepressible François Cluzet, beloved for his roles in The Intouchables and The Country Doctor) does his best to raise awareness of their plight, but the situation isn’t deemed newsworthy by the national media. Things seem hopeless until the day famous American photographer Newman (Toby Jones, of Detectorists and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) passes through the village, discovering the perfect backdrop for his next shoot. Balbuzard sees a rare opportunity and sets about convincing the townsfolk—the farmers, the butcher, the pharmacist, and the rest—to pose for Newman’s photographs. But there’s a catch: they have to be nude.
With a rich sense of place, Le Guay’s wonderful ensemble delivers a memorable portrait of community, resilience, and brotherhood, as well as superb comedic performances from the entire cast.