Anaïs in Love (2022): Gallic Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s Debut

Anaïs in Love, the first, promising feature from writer-director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet is a lightly satirical romance, handled with sharp wit and attentive care to detail.

The protagonist is Anaïs (Anaïs Demoustier), a thirtysomething whimsical, hyperactive, and carefree femme, free from the constraints of judgement or modesty.

She just broke up with her boyfriend, and now lives alone in Paris. Being broke (she’s two months behind in rent) forces her to sublet, but she’s not willing to give up on her impulses.

After a first encounter with Daniel (Denis Podalydès), a fifty-something book publisher, she sleeps with him. But then she realizes that she’s more interested in his wife, Emilie (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), a versatile writer. The latter is working on an essay about curiosity, for which Anais seems to be an interesting subject.

Demoustier embodies the unbridled heroine with grace, charm, and vibrancy that define her hedonistic existence.

In contrast, Tedeschi exudes restraint, lucidity and maturity, without sacrificing sensuality.

The formidably detailed, astringent direction of Bourgeois-Tacquet, and the superlatively nuanced acting, set this romantic triangle apart from numerous other gallic tales about the same topic.