La Famille Bélier (2014) Review

Verdict: Beautiful 

Great story, acting and singing.


Paula (Louane Emera) is the only person of hearing in her family, and has a packed schedule from helping out on her parents’ (Karin Viard and Francois Damiens) farm, going to school, and working the market with them. Her younger brother (Luca Gelberg) too is deaf, and so the whole family basically depends on her to interact with the outside world. When she signs up for choir classes because her crush Gabriel (Ilian Bergala) enrolled in it, she discovers she has a talent for it. Her teacher, Fabien (Eric Elmosnino) encourages her to apply to a music competition in Paris, as does her best friend Mathilde (Roxane Duran). However, going to Paris would mean abandoning her family, and leaving them to fend for themselves. Directed by Eric Lartigau.

The story is pretty simple, but that is precisely why it is very impactful. The film does not go into that much detail of how the family grew up, or tell the back story of the parents, but it works because Paula is the driving force of the family. She’s the one we should be focusing our attention on. Much like her character is there to support her family, the rest of the cast is pretty much supporting her.

The dynamics of this family is very well established, and the chemistry between them superb. You can feel the love they have for each other, and it is precisely because there is less talk that there is more feels. They have to work extra hard to express themselves which made the film refreshing to watch. The entire cast of the family did their parts really well. Elmosnino and Duran as the music teacher and best friend also did well in bringing certain dynamics to the film.

The script is well written, and going in, I did not expect the film to be so comedic. The screenplay is not corny or that predictable. And because Paula must translate conversations between her family and outsiders this makes for some funny ‘lost-in-translation’ remarks.

While I do like the simplicity of the story, it was also quite predictable. The ending comes as no surprise, but I do not mind that so much because it is how they got there that’s important. The singing as well is excellent. Emera, was discovered on the talent show The Voice, and her voice is absolutely beautiful.

Overall, a fun and engaging film with great family dynamics.

To sum-up:
PROS: Family dynamic, script, acting
CONS: Predictable

I give this a 7/10.

Have you seen La Famille Bélier? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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