What would a mother do for her son? Any and everything, according to Marie, the resourceful and determined protagonist of Cécile Ducrocq’s debut.
Marie (Laure Calamy) is a sex worker in Strasbourg. The centre of her life is her son Adrian (Nissim Renard). But he is listless and troubled. On finding out that he has been expelled from yet another school and realising there isn’t an education establishment that will welcome him, Marie decides to enrol him on a more vocational training course: as a trainee chef at a prestigious cookery school. But the fees are exorbitant, pushing Marie to the edge.
Call My Agent! star Laure Calamy is excellent as Marie. While Ducrocq, who directed the actor in episodes of the hit French show, helps Calamy create a rounded, utterly believable character. Marie has not been forced into the sex industry – she does it by choice. But just as she struggles to fund her son’s future, she faces challenges with her age and younger competition. Ducrocq’s film steers clear of simplistic moralising, instead favouring an engrossing portrait of a mother-son relationship.