“Revoir Paris” is a powerful and moving story of a woman who, after surviving a terrorist attack at a restaurant, encounters a series of challenging obstacles as she attempts to process her grief. It opens in New York City today at IFC Film Center and Film at Lincoln Center.
Mia, a translator in Paris, is having dinner with her doctor boyfriend when he is called away to the hospital. She goes alone to another restaurant to have a drink. A man begins shooting diners in a frightening sequence (great editing by Julien Lacheray) as Mia crawls away from the sound of gunfire.
After several months, Mia contacts some of the other survivors, hoping it will help her cope with the trauma. While one woman accuses her of hiding in the kitchen and locking others from getting in (a claim that is later disproved), another man (Benoît Magimel), who was wounded, is more nurturing and even becomes a possible romantic partner since Mia’s husband has become fed up with her behavior after the incident.
Mia is played by Virginie Efira. She won this year’s César Award for this role and recently starred in “Other People’s Children” and turned in memorable roles in two of Paul Verhoeven’s films, “Elle” and “Bendetta.” Efira is skillful at portraying emotions with few words as she seeks out a cook who may have saved her life and takes a young girl (Nastya Golubeva) to see the Monet paintings her parents saw prior to being killed in the attack.
This is the fourth film Alice Winocour has directed. She’s already received a number of high honors for her previous work, served as a juror at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and her sometimes stunning and other times quietly affecting work here strongly advances her outstanding career.