Let's Talk About The Rain (12A)

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The Independent Culture

French writer-director Agnès Jaoui's comedy of manners takes on issues of class, race and loyalty, but in such a charming, offhand way that one hardly notices them being raised.

Jaoui herself plays Agathe, a fledgling politician returning to her family home in the south to seek election, where she renews an awkward relationship with her sister and agrees to take part in a documentary for a local film-maker, Michel (Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jaoui's co-writer). His co-director (Jamel Debbouze), son of Agathe's housekeeper, soon begins to twig that collaboration isn't Michel's strong suit as one little désastre piles on to another.

Elements of Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanours peek through the story, though Jaoui's assured style and droll humour are very much her own. Her view of human fallibility has a sharp edge, but also a worldly sense of forgiveness.