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France, Belgium · 2012
Rated R · 1h 51m
Director Régis Roinsard
Starring Romain Duris, Déborah François, Bérénice Bejo, Shaun Benson
Genre Comedy, Romance

Set in 1958, Populaire focuses on Rose Pamphyle, who lives with her widowed father and is destined to marry a son of the local mechanic. Rose travels out of town and applies for a secretarial job with an insurance agency run by Louis Échard. Louis learns that Rose can type with extraordinary speed -- using only two fingers -- and he tells her to compete in a speed-typing competition if she wants the job.

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What are critics saying?


The Hollywood Reporter by

For all the earnestness with which the filmmakers replicate the muted colors and attitudes of the post-war era, they ultimately fail to say anything truly interesting about either the past or the present, resulting in a work that feels as superficial as it does slick.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

It’s not like “The Artist” was gritty, but Populaire is so cotton-candy breezy it makes the Best Picture-winner look like “The Panic in Needle Park.”


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

If anything distinguishes director Régis Roinsard’s take on well-trod material, it’s his Technicolor-bright widescreen palette (recalling many a late-’50s pillow-talk romance without a hint of snooty irony) and energetically game cast.


Slant Magazine by Nick McCarthy

Candy-colored to a potentially cavity-causing degree, the film is a bubbly regurgitation of retrograde romantic comedy tropes and reactionary sexual politics.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

You'll need to have a very sweet tooth for this, and it makes light of those difficult sexual politics that Mad Men attacked with such fierce satire.


Total Film by Tom Dawson

No prizes for guessing who ends up with whom, but the colourful retro designs and the leads’ sparkling chemistry help to Tipp-Ex over some of the predictability.

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