Cert 15 Stars 3

Terrorism tears a family apart in this elegant and thoughtful French drama which turns a story of loss and shock grief and loneliness into one of perseverance and hope.

David is an easy living tree trimmer who tends the city parks and gardens begins a tentative romance with his neighbour Lena, a music teacher.

Vincent Lacoste and Stacy Martin conjure up a relaxed romantic intimacy in a fresh portrayal of Paris, a city busy and lived in, but not overly glamorous or touristy as is often the case on the big screen.

His idyllic life is struck by tragedy when his sister is killed, and while dealing with his own feelings of loss, David has to learn to take responsibility for his niece, Amanda.

Isaure Multrier is sweet but never cutesy in a lovely and unaffected performance as the seven year old.

It’s a necessarily melancholy affair with enough grit to keep the drama grounded, and it makes for a fresh and soulful palate cleanser after the festive excess.