Revoir Paris review, in which Virginie Efira defines memory recovery

Virginie Efira in Revoir Paris

Revoir Paris from writer and director Alice Winocour, is about a woman who is traumatized in a mass shooting in a Paris bistro. She survives, one of the few who did, but blanked out the memory of what happened. She wants to remember and to know about the people she saw there.

Revoir Paris stars Virginie Efira. Her work in the film defines what an actor struggling to remember should look and act like. She’s just brilliant at this part. This isn’t an action packed film, although the scenes of the attack on the bistro are horrific. It’s mostly Efira as Mia thinking and piecing bits of memory together.

Mia had lived with Vincent (Grégoire Colin) for some time, although they weren’t married. He was a doctor. On the night of the shooting, they were having dinner in a restaurant when he got a phone call and said he had to return to the hospital.

Mia, who rode a motorcycle everywhere, left to go home. It was raining so she stopped in a busy bistro for a glass of wine until the rain stopped. The motorcycle was a nice touch, I thought, because Mia wore the same leather jacket and a pair of jeans in every scene of the movie.

Mia was passing the time in the bistro, people watching, when a man with an automatic weapon came in and started shooting. She was wounded but not killed. As she put it, her memories stopped when she saw the first dead person.

Three months after the attack, Mia returned to the bistro. She learned there was a weekly support group meeting there for the survivors. They had a Facebook group and some support from the police.

Benoît Magimel and Virginie Efira in Revoir Paris

Mia talked with Thomas (Benoît Magimel), a man she made eye contact with in the cafe before the shooting started. She befriended Félicia (Nastya Golubeva Carax), a young woman whose aunt and uncle died in the attack. Most of all, she wanted to know about the man she remembered holding her hand and staying with her. As she recalls details about him, she searches everywhere to learn if he survived.

The unfolding mystery of Mia’s memory is well written. It maintains interest and suspense. I found the film to be a beautiful character study and was especially impressed with the way Virginia Efira handled the character.

It’s in French. You can stream it on Prime Video.

Virginie Efira on the poster of  Revoir Paris

If you take a look at this one, I’d love to hear your reactions.

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