French Film Festival Weekend

The Workshop 15 (S)

The Workshop

The social and economic issues of provincial France are explored through the medium of education in this new film by Laurent Cantet (director of 2009 Palme d’Or winner The Class) as he captures the jostling tensions between a group of antsy teenagers attending a writing workshop and their teacher’s attempts to guide them.

In the port town of La Ciotat in southern France, Antoine (Matthieu Lucci) attends a summer writing workshop in which a few young people have been selected to write a crime thriller with the help of famous novelist Olivia Dejazet (Marina Foïs). The creative brief must recall the town's industrial past, a form of nostalgia to which Antoine feels indifferent. More concerned with the fears of the modern world, the young man soon clashes with the other members of the group as well as Olivia, who seems at the same time both alarmed and captivated by young Antoine's increasing sense of violence.

Demonstrating that debate and the exchange of ideas can be just as thrilling as any ramped up action movie, Cantet’s film makes for an enthralling fusion of political debate and socially conscious thriller that never loses its intensity, intelligence or humanism.