FilmWorks Summerside: Driving Madeleine
A seemingly simple taxi ride across Paris evolves into a profound meditation on the realities of the driver, whose personal life is in shambles, and his fare, an elderly woman whose warmth belies her shocking past.
Charles (Dany Boon) is a taxi driver in Paris, and he is having a very bad day. Some pressing personal debts are due, he’s in danger of losing his driver’s licence to numerous traffic infractions, and his marriage, like Charles himself, is strained to the point of snapping. A quick fare in the suburbs seems like an easy distraction.
Enter Madeleine (Line Renaud), an immaculately groomed 92-year-old woman, who informs Charles that the trip today will not be a direct one. She is moving into a care home and would like to make some stops along the way, predicting that this might be her last car ride through the city. Initially exasperated and grumbling, Charles is slowly lured in by her warm charm and directness, fascinated by the stories she wants to tell. Their ride takes them through the momentous locations of her life and we discover that she has had a shocking and very dramatic journey indeed.
Content advisory: scenes of sexual violence and domestic abuse