Francois Damiens

Foreign Objects - Large

Delicacy begins with a subtle nod to When a Man Loves a Woman‘s opening as a young man named Francois watches a beautiful woman enter and sit down. As the waiter approaches her Francois makes a mental prediction as to her order, and if he gets it right he promises himself that he’ll work up the courage to approach and talk to her. He does, and soon the two are embracing outside. They were simply re-enacting their meeting, playing the roles of strangers on the cusp of a romance, but in reality they’re already deeply in love. Their parents occasionally pester them for grandchildren, but Francois (Pio Marmai) and Nathalie (Audrey Tautou) put plans for a baby on hold “for when they’re talked out.” They’re happy and content and looking forward to a full future. But when he’s struck and killed by a car, Nathalie is forced to continue on without him. Or at least try to. She blocks out friendly attempts to help her, throws his belongings into the trash and rushes back to work sooner than expected. Her career becomes her sole focus, and a few years later she’s heading up large projects at work and still romantically unattached despite the best efforts of her impassioned but somewhat smarmy boss. And then the giant Swede walks through the door.

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Being middle class in a first world country is a tough racket. You just can’t ever get where you want to be. You know, buying the things you want, taking the vacations to placed you’d like to see, driving fancy cars and eating fine foods. For the middle class, there’s always an eye to something better — and in most stories like this, there’s little appreciation for what one has until it all comes crashing down. Such is the tale of Borderline, a French dark comedy about a family that looks a little too far to the sky when opportunity comes their way, only to have it all come back to haunt them.

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