Orchestra Seats
When a young woman becomes the first waitress at the Café du Theatre, her arrival signals change. score

moviereview rates films from
1 (unwatchable) to 5 (unmissable)
Cécile de France, Valérie Mercier, Albert Dupontel

Danièle Thompson

Danièle Thompson,
Christopher Thompson

France (subtitles)

Rating / Running Time
M / 106 minutes

Australian Release
May 2007

Official Site

(c) moviereview 2006-2007
ABN 72 775 390 361

Cecile de France (The Singer) stars in this likeable comedy of manners. As the first waitress to be hired by Paris' Café du Theatre, previously a male-only domain, Jessica's sweet, wide-eyed arrival signals change. The café is a haunt for theatre staff and performers alike, regulars whose peculiarities are well known to accommodating staff. Blind to personal boundaries, Jessica's frankness opens conversations with the power to change lives, among them an anxious concert pianist, a vivacious soap-star, a visiting Hollywood director (Sydney Pollack) and an art-dealer whose relationship with his son's ex-girlfriend provides plenty of grist for the emotional mill.

There's an echo of Amelie in Orchestra Seats, particularly as Jessica's presence shines light into the lives of various quirky characters. Her buoyant attitude is exemplified by a welcoming, rather than irritated, attitude to mobile phones. However there's considerably less focus on her dealings alone and Thompson's direction is far less assured. For the film's first half it's difficult to determine where this is heading and how her characters are connected. And as events converge, de France's role becomes redundant when assorted parties assume more interesting lives without her.

Fortunately they have sufficient entertainment value to assure a pleasant, if not entirely successful, distraction.