A Common Thread review

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Éléonore Faucher shows a sure directorial hand in this rural spin on an odd-couple-cum-rites-of-passage tale, neatly folding a theme of embroidery into a tale of grief, recovery and a 17-year-old's pregnancy. Having chucked her supermarket check-out job, the round-bellied Claire (Lola Naymark) checks in for work with Madame Mélikian (Ariane Ascaride), a local, Lacroix-connected embroiderer. As a wary Mélikian slowly warms to her timid but tenacious charge, the friendship teases out fresh threads in their lives.

Predictable? Sure, but Faucher's direction gently offsets that with an earthy tactility. There's great relish in rustic detail and little intimacies here: Claire lifting her freckled face up to a downpour, say, or the feel of bed-linen and cabbage leaves. The flame-haired Naymark's stoical, cheeky performance perfectly captures a sense of salvation sought in the fabric of day-to-day routine in this sweet, subtle film.


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