The much-anticipated new film from Cesar-winning writer/director Martin Provost (Séraphine), THE MIDWIFE marks the remarkable pairing of two of French cinema’s most beloved stars, Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot.

Sage Femme
Director: Martin Provost
Cast: Catherine Frot, Catherine Deneuve, Olivier Gourmet
Duration: 117 mins
Country of Origin: France

PGMild themes and coarse language


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The Midwife

★★★★
“A moving, grown-up story. Deneuve is at her best, with a performance to rejoice in and give thanks for. Frot too. Apart from the superbly controlled performances, apart from the quiet humour, apart from the lovely sense of wisdom that underlies the writing, what I loved about this film was the way Provost draws his characters into moments of transcendence. What more could we ask for?”
Paul Byrnes, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

★★★★
“Classy, rich and nuanced… Frot and Deneuve give an acting masterclass. In French, a midwife is called a sage femme, or wise woman — something of that ancient female intelligence informs the film.”
Vicky Roach, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

★★★★
“Infectious. Provost clearly enjoys making films about women and he does it very well. Frot and Deneuve have fun, making it easy for us to do the same.”
Sandra Hall, THE SUNDAY AGE

★★★★
“A wistful, subtly humorous study of human relationships. It’s also a reflection of the skill of Deneuve and Frot, as these two fine actresses work their delicate magic.”
William Yeoman, THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

“A bittersweet delight written to order for two consummate performers who inhabit their diametrically opposed characters with satisfying élan. Frot and Deneuve work subtle wonders. This tale of a jovially disruptive stab at redemption late in the game of life shows every sign of being another hit-in-waiting for writer-director Martin Provost.”
Lisa Nesselson, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

“Funny, sad and moving – a richly human crowd pleaser about friendship, forgiveness and rolling with the punches. The two actresses make terrific foils, and Deneuve delivers her best performance in recent memory.”
Ben Croll, INDIEWIRE

★★★★
“Totally enthralling. Plays like a French Ab Fab with gravitas. On the surface The Midwife may appear to be a slight, talky affair, audiences may be pleasantly surprised at just how meaty and rewarding it proves to be. Apart from watching two of France’s finest actors at the peak of their powers, this is a highly nuanced study of two individuals reconciling with events of the past while gaining a better understanding of each other.”
Richard Leatham, THE LOWDOWN UNDER

OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2017 BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The much-anticipated new film from César-winning writer/director Martin Provost (Séraphine), THE MIDWIFE marks the remarkable pairing of two of French cinema’s most beloved stars, Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot.

Gifted midwife Claire (Frot) has led a quiet, focused life, dedicated to her profession and to the raising of her son as a single mother. But change is in the air; the local community maternity ward where she has worked for decades is to be closed, and though she has a job offer from a larger corporate clinic, Claire struggles to reconcile their more efficiency-driven methods with her own.

In the midst of this upheaval, she receives a call from Béatrice (Deneuve), the extravagant mistress of her deceased father, who wants to meet again, thirty years after having disappeared without a trace. Béatrice is a true free-spirit – loud, vivacious, and seemingly without guilt. Claire agrees to meet with her, but is decidedly less than enthusiastic about delving into the secrets of the past, let alone prepared to respond to a plea for help…

Provost has made a name for himself with indelible portraits of women, but reaches new heights with this exquisite depiction of feminine strengths and frailties. THE MIDWIFE memorably – and movingly – questions the value of change, but also whether steak, chips and red wine can really be considered a healthy lunch.

MORE…
“Catherine Frot’s moving transformation.” – Cinephiled.

On the eve of The Midwife‘s Berlin Film Festival premiere, writer/director Martin Provost discussed the film with Cineuropa‘s Bénédicte Prot.

The Midwife