Summertime: Corsini’s Beautifully Acted Lesbian Romance, Starring Cecil De France (LGBTQ, Lesbian)

With Summertime, her 1970s lesbian romance, the gifted and reliable Catherine Corsini joins the ranks of other major French directors who have explored realistically intimate sexual liaisons, in this case between a young, simple farm girl and a more mature feminist organizer from Paris.

Strand Releasing will open the film in theaters in N.Y., L.A., and other cities in late July.

The title might signal a more generic and familiar story, but the movie is anything but.  Set in 1971, the tale centers on Delphine, (Izïa Higelin), a young, inquisitive girl who moves from her conservative parents’ home near Limoges to Paris to break free from her rural lifestyle and to live a more independent life

In the big city, Delphine meets and falls for Carole (Cécile de France), a more mature and sophisticated femme and the two embark on a passionate, mutually invigorating love affair.

When a family sickness forces Delphine to go back to the farm, their bliss is interrupted. Carole has to decide whether to follow Delphine into a possibly hostile place, where their relationship might become more complicated and fraught than its seductive visual palette initially suggests.

A third strong female character emerges in the movie’s last reel, Delphine’s mother (Lvovsky), torn between her inevitably traditional values and at the same time deep and genuine concern for her daughter’s feelings.

Beautifully realized, Summertime benefits from the sharp, luminous imagery by the distinguished cinematographer Jeanne Lapoirie who has worked with the best directors, Andre Techine’s Wild Reeds, Francois Ozon’s 8 Women and Under the Sand, and most recently the late Ronit Elkabetz’s Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem.


About the director:

Catherine Corsini grew up in Seine et Marne, France. She moved to Paris at 18 to study acting at the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique before becoming a filmmaker. She is known for making personal films that range in tone from the bleak and violent to the tender and warm. Often premiering in Cannes, her films include Lovers, La Répétition, starring Emmanuelle Béart, and Three Worlds. Corsini served as the President of the Camera d’Or jury at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

About the lead actresses:

Belgian-born actress Cécile de France won her first César (for Best Supporting Actress) for her performance as Isabelle in Cédric Klapisch’s hit L’Auberge Espagnole, and her second César for the role in Russian Dolls.  Among her many film credits, she starred in Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s The Kid with a Bike, and had English-speaking leading roles in Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter and Around the World in 80 Days opposite Jackie Chan

A true discovery, Izïa Higelin, only 25, is the daughter of French singer-songwriter-actor Jacques Higelin, and sister of singer Arthur H. A musician herself, Higelin won two Victoire de la Musique Awards (France’s top music awards) for her first album, and a César for Best Female Newcomer in 2013 for her debut film performance in Patrick Mille’s Bad Girl.